The world's cities are urbanizing at a rapidly accelerating pace. More than half of the world's population living in urban centres today, and that is expected to surpass six billion by 2045. So it's no surprise that affordable urban housing is a big issue, with some proposing micro-housing, or alternative living and home ownership arrangements to meet growing demand.
Co-living might be one of these solutions. Created by Italian design think-tank Fabrica as part of a "Space Scholarship" for seven cash-strapped students in Bangkok, Thailand, these two shared living spaces integrate schemes that are flexible, modular and encourage a community atmosphere amongst its residents. Here's a bird's eye view of the girls' apartment:
The scholarship is part of a corporate social responsibility initiative by AP Public Company Limited, a Thai property developer. The concept is to foster communication and human relationships among the male and female scholars, who come from diverse backgrounds.
The design itself aims to promote a sense of self-sufficiency and shared responsibility, through "social overlapping" of spaces and versatile functions integrated into each furniture piece. For instance, the furniture such as the built-in beds and bunks can either be open for more socializing, or closed up with curtains for more privacy. The main table serves as a dining spot when the hinged partitions are opened up, and acts as a cozy study desk for four when the partitions are up.
The use of mobile, multifunctional and modular components, and storage hidden within these components helps to organize and maximize the space. To save even more space, shelving elements and lamps are hung from rails that extend throughout the apartment, even into the bunks themselves. Here are views of the boys' apartment:
There's much more to the co-living concept than merely having some roommates: in expensive cities, co-living can be a relatively affordable, all-inclusive package with perks like housekeeping service; or it might be a hostel-like place where you co-work as well. Alternatively, a co-living situation might involve some co-travelling too, or it might even be part of a global co-living subscription service that allows one to work and travel to different co-living and co-working hubs around the world. But for now, only time will tell whether co-living will help solve the urban housing crisis. For more information, visit Fabrica.