Hacker Hostels: Incubators With Ikea Bunkbeds

AirBnB/via

Usually when we show images of people packed into tiny closets, it is the poor, like the guy in Los Angeles who packed 44 apartments into a triplex, or the tiny rooms in Hong Kong that were parodied in We Love Tiny Houses and Apartments, But 16 Square Feet Is Just Too Small. In Silicon Valley, where housing is really expensive and hard to find, young coders and hackers voluntarily get packed in six to a room and appear to love it. Brian Chen writes in the New York Times:

This is not some kind of dorm, but a “hacker hostel.” It’s one of several in the Bay Area that offer short- or long-term stays for aspiring tech entrepreneurs on the bottom rung of the Silicon Valley ladder, those who haven’t yet achieved Facebook-level riches. These establishments put a twist on the long tradition of communal housing for tech types by turning it into a commercial enterprise.

© Chez JJ

The crowd is carefully curated; at Chez JJ, a host or "captain" is responsible for filtering out those who might not fit the model.

The captains, all women, screen for personalities and occupations, rejecting applicants who are not techies or simply have a poor attitude. Sasha Willins, a 26-year-old graphic designer who is captain of the San Francisco apartment, has a gentle way of saying no. “It’s not so much rejecting as it is asking so many questions until they withdraw their application,” she said.

According to the comments on AirBnB, people who have stayed there have found it "inspiring." More in the New York Times

Tags: Less Is More | Living With Less | San Francisco

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