When I searched through Twitter today, I was caught by surprise: tweets rose by 300% and almost all of them in Spanish. What happened?! 🤔
Mexican brands CoEating and Covivex have been promoting new 6-units coliving spaces in Mexico City. Twitter users responded negatively due to high prices, no (if not worse) interior design changes, and for using the term “coliving” for the old Mexican concept of vencidades (neighborhood). This then sparked the creation of a bunch fo memes and even led to articles on the history of vencidades in Mexico City.
Here's the thing: coliving is going through branding challenges. Other spaces such as Haiku 4.0 (you’ll find out more below) and Medici (in Germany’s Handelsblatt) have also been criticized for “unworthy” conditions. The challenge for coliving operators is now to dissociate themselves from those “bad news” from not-thought-through concepts. And hence it’s time to compensate those movements with more positive story-telling - which has to come from coliving spaces themselves.
And now, let's tackle last week's coliving updates...
AN INTERESTING CASE FOR AFFORDABLE COLIVING
Haibu 4.0 is a Spanish coliving operator that offers places in Barcelona and Paris for only 200€/month. VICE visited the space and the video created a bunch of negative comments on the web - but is it justified? While people live in 5-10m2 micro-rooms, it is a necessary landing pad for many. Now, the company is also challenged as its activities are still not legalizable by Spanish laws. Definitely, a case to follow.
“CO-LIVING, THE HOT NEW TREND OF 1898”
The title says it all: this JSTOR article showcases how Chicago offered coliving spaces more than 100 years ago. While it was dedicated to women only at that time, the concept remains the same until today: shared spaces to help with societal mobility and affordability.
A HOUSING ANALYSIS OF HK’S PROTESTS
The formerly autonomous state has been under huge protest since China’s desire to take full control of the city. But the root causes lie deeper: Hong Kong is undergoing heavy housing problems. With a typical home costing more than 20 times the median salary, 250,000 people waiting for access to public housing, and an average living space of 5 m2 (48 square feet) per person, the city might be the world’s most unequal place to live. How could coliving solve that?
AN INITIATIVE TO BRING COLIVING TO BOOMERS
Last week, I received an intriguing email by Margaret Manning, that asked: “why does coliving not exist for baby boomers of my age”? There have been calls to shift the marketing to a more inclusive audience (see Qwerky’s post In Praise Of Coliving For Baby Boomers). Manning wants to be part of that movement: after running Sixty and Me, a community of 500,000 women, she started the Coliving for Boomers Facebook Page and wants to connect with operators to create solutions for that audience. Who’s in?
MURPHY EOGHAN UNDER ATTACK AGAIN
After an anti-coliving summer in Ireland, the country’s Minister for Housing is under critique again: that coliving is “like staying in a trendy boutique hotel" brought much criticism between current development ideas and reality. How could this turn back to sweet? Probably only by showing through action, not words, that we can create great, user-centric coliving concepts.
See his before and after statement
COLIVING RISING IN NEW ZEALAND
We talk a lot of Europe, Asia and the US, but our Oceanian friend is picking up: residences such as Balmoral in Auckland (with 100+ dorms) are a great example of that. My guess: more independent brands will develop in that Australia-NZ region, unless the US/Europe operators start exploring the market.
INDIA DRAFTS NEW HOUSING REGULATIONS
With the Model Tenancy Act 2019, the parity in the rent deposit structure may bring co-living and traditional leases in line with each other. It’s far for perfect to allow coliving operations, but countries are making legal moves to facilitate the expansion of the private section.
THE MODERN TREND OF COHOUSING
Today’s intentional communities may look like the communes of yesteryear, but they don’t operate like them - read this inspiring and truthful interview on what brings people together nowadays, and on the importance of intentionality in choosing.
FLATMATE’S DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
Cutwork, the interior design agency for the 600-units Flatmate coliving space, is giving insights into their approach. When creating France’s largest coliving space, they got inspired by the different definitions of space in Japanese. Cutwork then focussed on modular design that allows different space atmospheres - from deep focus to collaboration - to ultimately bring harmony to the space.
CREATIVE MARKETING BY THE COLLECTIVE
This is pure beauty. To promote its new openings, The Collective (TC) is playing on the “chance encounter” game: the ability to meet inspiring, life-enhancing people through coliving. Designing in the Alice in Wonderland cinemaphic style, this is a sweet marketing piece.
AND SOME MORE UPDATE ON COLIVING OPERATORS
Common is planning for a 80-unit building in Allston (for non-Americans: that’s in Massachusetts), the Brightfield Group received planning permission for a 115-unit building in Peterborough (UK), Podshare is expanding in SF and runs at full capacity, Art/Earth/tech appeals for its London residency, Qwerky launches its micro-living in 2020, and HMLET (Japan) raises $40m in its series B.
July 31st, Lisbon (register here)
August 1st, Paris (respond to RSVP)
August 10th, NYC (respond to RSVP)
#colivingmeetup San Francisco
August 22nd, SF (respond to RSVP)
NO LIMIT TO AUTOMATION:
THE ULTIMATE COLIVING TENANT EXPERIENCE 📈
Technology can lead to estrangement, but doesn’t have to: if wisely used, the can help coliving spaces to automate their processes and find more time for real human interaction. I sat down with Christian Schmitz from Salto to get his two cents on what the ultimate resident experience could look like.
USING TECH TO MATCH CO-OWNERS 📱
WeOwn is web-app facilitates the process of co-ownership in Canada by matching people who want to enter a co-ownership model. I found them in an interesting great article entitled “Is co-ownership a housing solution for both Millennials and seniors?” Sexy? Yes.
WHAT IS COLIVING FOR THE JAPANESE? 🇯🇵
I don’t speak Japanese, but feel like coliving.com took the word apart to dig to its true meaning. Maybe some Japanese reader could give more context?
“Co-living is neither intrinsically good nor bad. It just provides another option for living arrangements in Auckland. And more options are always a good thing."
- Bindi Norwell, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand
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In coliving spirit.
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