Metro Cities

All 'Together' Now; Vitra Design Museum displays co-living potential

A German museum that celebrates creativity, the Vitra Design Museum, is currently hosting an exhibition of collective living solutions to contemporary housing concerns.

Vitra Design Museum/ Mark Niedermann

Real estate prices are skyrocketing worldwide, hiking up rents and exacerbating long-standing affordable housing problems. When space is tight, humans get creative — and collective. Drawing on examples from Europe, Asia, and North America, the Vitra Design Museum is Germany offers a glimpse at historical precedents and new ways collective living is redrawing where we live.

Dubbed "Together," the exhibit displays co-living borne of urgency, often as an affordable response to urbanites living outside of conventional nuclear families. The models in the exhibit illustrate how creativity applied to collective housing with limited resources equals a unique aesthetic.

Vitra Design Museum/ Mark Niedermann

Original plans: In the 1970s, an autonomous community in Copenhagen, Denmark called Freetown Christiania evolved out of a squatter movement. It eventually became a collective, car-free, community where no home is privately owned. It is still going strong today.

Vitra Design Museum/ Mark Niedermann

Weird Look: The Moriyama House in Japan explodes a typical detached home into its constituent parts, each room its own structure, forcing its residents to commune with the city during formerly private tasks, like doing laundry.

Vitra Design Museum/ Mark Niedermann

Cluster Apartments: The exhibit walks visitors through a mock up of these communal living plans. In the Kalkbreite in Zurich, Switzerland each resident has 31.2 square meters of private space, while kitchens and work spaces are shared and additional rooms can be booked for visitors.

ART BASEL HONGKONG 2017

Vitra Design Museum/ Mark Niedermann

ART BASEL HONGKONG 2017

Experimental living: Blending public and private space is a main tenant of co-living. The Kalkbreite building, for example, reserved half its floor area for commercial and non-residential uses, including a movie theatre, sustainable grocer, and shops.

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