Ongoing Research + Research Thesis 2016-17

'TOWARDS A NEW COLLECTIVE: NEW MODELS OF DOMESTIC LIVING'

London, UK

We are going through a subtle shift in how the economy is owned and operated, with massive implications. Companies such as Airbnb, Uber and Netflix have proven how fast our economy is changing towards a pay-as-you live market, where access as opposed to ownership is becoming the new status quo. Whereas the mid 2000’s saw an initial burst of ‘co-working’ spaces, the last few years have seen the growth of a new collective lifestyle trend known as ‘co-living’.

This thesis seeks to understand the relationship between domestic space and that of the city. As an emerging society characterized by movement and collectivity finds itself at a point of transition within a larger and rigid urban structure, increasingly nomadic forms of labor are challenging the static model of the family home. This situation presents an opportunity for architects to redefine the city – starting directly from the private unit.

 

While the structure of the city depends essentially on the basic element of the domestic unit, as representative of the dwelling, the block, and subsequently the urban fabric - this unit ultimately reflects this very structure as a whole. Today’s contemporary city demonstrates an increasing resilience towards rootedness and neoliberal processes of ownership, while progressing towards a new sense of collectiveness defined by the nomadic worker. These three typologies – the pod, the en-suite room and the micro-unit demonstrate this gradual projection of today’s contemporary city.

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