One of the most important part of coliving is design and architecture. Why?
Because the place has to be thought in terms of human connection.
If a coliving space is not thought-through, then natural serendipity can't be expected. That is why certain design agencies have put their focus on building out coliving spaces - and they're getting pretty good at it.
Here is the 2019 list of design agencies specialized in coliving. Hit them up if you want to create your own space or get advice - every interaction is worth the time.
Notable Projects: Station F
Cutwork is a young, creative, award-winning architecture and design studio specialized in designing coworking and coliving environments - what they refer to as “cohabitation” projects. Cutwork understands that major urban/social challenges, such as rising cost of rent and the epidemic of loneliness, need to be tackled through community-driven design, and it’s their mission to create innovative solutions to overcome those challenges.
Notable projects include designing select interiors for Paris-based Station F, the world’s largest startup campus, as well as the full interior concept for the first large-scale coliving space in Paris, launching June 2019. In their own words, they design to help build better communities and encourage collaboration – both intentional and spontaneous.
Location: Seattle & Vancouver
Kanawha is the result of two incredible people - Katie Davis-Sayles, a designer and architect, and her husband Jacob Sayles, a creative and entrepreneurial technologist. Together, they formed a team that focusses on communal living projects, especially coworking and coliving.
Among others, Kanawha took part in the renovation of The Red Victorian, a beautiful house and one of Embassy Network's coliving spaces. One of their strength lies in integrating technology systems, which benefits those initiatives tremendously, especially when it comes to coworking spaces. As a side-note, Jacob is personally involved in this movement and founded Open Coworking, a non-profit that supports coworking spaces with resources and a community-driven approach.
Bond Society is another award-winning agency, among others who became a finalist for the Réinventer Paris competition, and has recently been heavily focussing on coliving.
The best part of Bond Society is their different initiatives. On one side, their design studio in.bond provides helps to architect with interior design and conceptualization, and on the other side, re:bond is their research arm, which explores societal trends and changes on the way we work and live. It was within re:bond that the architect duo Christelle Gautreau and Stéphanie Morio wrote the Homy Coliving Survey, in which they interviewed more than 30 coliving spaces.
Notable Projects: Zoku
concrete (spelled that way) is one of the more established firms in this category. With works all over the world, including several in the US, and a team of more than 50multi-disciplinary creatives, the design and architecture firm develops concepts from the ground up.
Their most memorable piece in the coliving industry is the coliving space Zoku in Amsterdam. With a high reputation for its stunning interior design, concrete did an amazing job at creating a beautiful, vivid atmosphere for travelers and mid-term stayers alike.
Notable Projects: Conscious Coliving ManifestoDreamstudio is an architecture firm lead by Tom Maxwell, who is part of the Coliving Research Group at the Art Earth Tech Institute and contributing to research social interaction and the facilitation of community within residential buildings.
The most notable part of Maxwell's work is his contribution to the Conscious Coliving manifesto - an archetype of fundamental value and vision pillars that coliving spaces should represent. It's his mission to bring more connection and conscious living to society, wherefore he co-created the Conscious Coliving consultancy, and continues offering his design services to residential living spaces. On a side-note, he personally lives in a conscious coliving space himself and runs well-being company on the side (hosting among others ecstatic dances). This man knows what he is talking about.
Notable Projects: Techfarm
CoDesign focusses on meaningful participatory design methods. The design agency is multi-facetted, handling major works from analysis and feasibility studies, through to concept development, design, planning and implementation, and finally to follow-up and review.
CoDesign entered the coliving market with the creation of Techfarm, a "conscious coliving space" following the concept of maximizing compact living and the sharing of common areas and ideas. The main objective of this project was to create a high quality of life in the form of access to such things as yoga studios, private chefs and a gym.
Location: San Francisco
Notable Projects: Soon to come
Samara is a special one here. The design studio is AirBnb's research and design arm to prototype new ways that homes can be built and shared, guided by an ambition to realize more humanistic, future-oriented, and waste-conscious design.
While Samara hasn't built out projects yet, we can expect the team to create coliving spaces in the near future, as AirBnb has been recently getting involved into the coliving industry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm Gui, a coliving operator, facilitator, and industry builder with one mission: to make coliving the best experience one can have.
I founded Art of Co, a global resource platform and consultancy to create transformative coliving spaces, wrote the 📘 Art of Coliving book , and am the director of Co-Liv, the global association of coliving professionals. Come engage with other passionate coliving builders in my 👉 Telegram community or join the 👉 Coliving Cocktail newsletter, where I send out recaps of everything that happens within the coliving world!
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