Co-Living Around the World

design matter

As urban development and housing concerns continue to surge, humans naturally look to alternative solutions for habitation. This has resulted in what we know today as co-living. I believe the future of residential living will see the breakdown of the traditional home, delineated according to functional needs. In other words, personal hygiene, rest, cooking and eating, working and playing, will each be served in different spaces driven not by the amenity they serve but by the creation of a sense of community and belonging. Effectively improving functionality is fundamental in redefining the future of individual and group engagements in a communal space. 

A key factor in the success of a co-living space is the ability to make a positive impact on a person’s daily life, ultimately transforming how we live in the future. Here are my top four choices for co-living around the world.

WeLive, New York
Most of us are familiar with the WeWork co-working spaces, and now the same company has introduced WeLive. These fully-furnished apartments offer a whole new flexible way of living. WeLive has been designed to encourage communal living through the use of common areas which form an integral part of the interior design plan.
Multi-functional mailrooms and laundry rooms become bars and event spaces. Members have access to communal kitchens, roof decks and hot tubs, ultimately promoting a sense of community and the opportunity to build meaningful relationships. 

The Collective, London
This project has an interesting mission, which is to build and connect a world inspired to be more alive, more together and more collaborative. But how? The Collective focuses primarily on creating communities, by sharing amenities such as kitchens, work areas, lounges and a library. Co-living projects like The Collective use these strategies to alleviate the lack of space, or to maximise the use of given space. However, as attractive as these spaces are, the important consideration is what functions drive the activities programmed in these areas. 

PDX Commons Cohousing, Portland
Co-living is no longer targeted at millennials and young professionals, but now also includes senior citizens. PDX Commons is a senior cohousing community for people aged 55 and above. This community offers private rooms and various shared facilities to encourage friendships and support networks which ultimately promote physical and mental well-being. With the co-living market now expanding to create age-friendly communities, designers need to consider how to create spaces to accommodate changes such as physical challenges. 

Roam, Tokyo/San Francisco/Bali/Miami/London
Roam has the most fascinating co-living business model of all. Roam integrates work, travel and life adventures—a very attractive offering to the new generation of digital nomads. This co-living venture offers memberships that allow people to live in various locations, encouraging networking and cultural experiences. Roam works hard to comfortably support a large group of people in its communal spaces, promoting gatherings for events, meetings, classes and socialising. The company hosts events such as industry talks, pop-up dinners, up-and-coming chef demos and planned weekends away, all to encourage the idea of togetherness.  


>>Previous Issue: Creative Education