While the average home may be getting bigger, density and affordability have the world's residential designers finding ways to live smaller. In Fast Company's annual Co.Design Innovation by Design Awards, 27 spaces were honored for their innovation. Of those, one winner and four finalists were residential spaces - and they all honed in on different solutions to tiny living.

The winner was Carmel Place, New York City's first modular, micro-unit building. The average unit is 300 square feet, but the building offers large amenity spaces like a gym and rooftop terrace.

The finalists include Blackbirds, a home design that masks higher density with single-home style residences; Havemeyer Building by Common Living, which takes co-living to the next level with small spaces and maximized services; Muji Hut, a Japanese prefabricated house with sleek design ;and Starter Home, which transforms small vacant infill lots with tiny, affordable houses.

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