We’ve been doing a lot of work on rethinking housing and the emotional, social and psychological impacts that places have our us and were invited to speak at two great workshop events recently. Natasha presented our approaches for designing places for people’s wellbeing - and the potential of coliving or more shared ways of living in particular.
Conscious Coliving: Coliving and Wellbeing
About: Conscious Coliving uses connection with self, others, and nature to pursue more meaningful, emotionally fulfilling, and environmentally sustainable lives.
Loneliness Lab: How can our homes be better design to tackle loneliness?
About: The Loneliness Lab has been created to bring together business, government and civil society to explore how we can reshape and reimagine our cities to design out loneliness and isolation.
Both events were informal salon-style gatherings of people across different areas of the industry – developers, architects, service designers, researchers, operators and more – creating the setting for focused and productive conversations to workshop challenges together, share knowledge and test ideas.
Here is a video sharing some of our framework for designing for wellbeing at 3 levels and how the growing coliving sector can address quality of life and create great places where people can meaningfully connect to one another;
1) Emotional Potential
2) Social Connection and
3) Identity and Belonging through Sense of Place.
In the Loneliness Lab workshop, the session was opened by hearing from an inspiring resident who had created an active community from scratch on her street, giving us all food for thought on different ways of looking at how to nuture connectedness and vitality. Hearing from her community's experiences gave us many insights into the aspects of housing design that can facilitate that, and that might get overlooked – such as simply having enough storage space to keep a home tidy so you can feel comfortable and proud to welcome people into your home.
At the Conscious Coliving event, we had the chance to delve into the different challenges that living more closely together can bring. Our group looked at the need to balance privacy and connection – and hearing from the experience of developing cohousing schemes such as Marmalade Lane, Cambridge’s first cohousing community, we began to explore how potentially residents could map their preferences towards privacy or sociability and then be “matched” with a suitable scheme or area of a development that best fit them. We also discussed how allowing for some “redundancy” or flexibility in a scheme can allow them to be adapted to changing needs over time.
More insights from the workshops can be found here
Two very productive and uplifting events for shared learning and innovation across the industry!