Co-living is one of the buzzwords of the moment
Sharing space with strangers is becoming an increasingly popular option for a new breed of professionals looking for housing that combines private living space with shared communal facilities.
And with many new co-living developments offering shared spaces like wellness studios, gyms, and gardens or terraces for BBQs and entertaining, it’s becoming easier than ever for residents to get to know their neighbours.
Rising rents and an increase of young professionals looking for living spaces in urban areas is one of the factors driving the trend, but there is a deeper motive for the development towards multi-occupancy constructions.
While the modern version of co-living is a little different to the hippy communes that began to spring up in the Sixties, or the artist communities prevalent in places such as Germany and Denmark, the concept is based on the same ethos: to create a lifestyle based on sharing and community.
People need connection in the physical world as well as online
In an age where much day to day contact is online, and with loneliness a widespread issue, a sense of ‘real’ connection is increasingly welcome.
The growth of the sharing economy and the rise of co-working and other partnerships suggests there is an appetite for greater sharing and social engagement, says architect Manisha Patel, who specializes in urban design and planning for practice PRP.
In the recent RSA report ‘Co-living and the common good’ Patel writes of the balance between privacy and social interaction that co-living manages to address – and points out that humans are the most social of mammals.
“Our communication skills set us apart; social interaction and the search for a sense of wellbeing is hardwired into all of us,” she says. “The desire for communal interaction is balanced with the need for each individual to choose their degree of separation.”
While physical connection is important, so too is the technology that allows people to connect with each other. As you might expect, ‘Generation rent’ is looking for far more than the bare essentials in their new home: the burgeoning use of smart phones, smart TVs and a plethora of connected home devices mean fast, immediate access to broadband and WiFi connectivity is today as essential as running water. Technological progress has enabled large new developments to improve significantly by providing a seamless connection to their facilities.
Curve IT is strategically placed in the PRS internet services sector
Curve IT has been working with a number of BTR and PRS operators over the last few years, notably Essential Living with whom we worked on with the flagship new builds Dressage Court, Vantage Point and Creekside Wharf (opening mid to late 2018).
Residents received high-speed internet access with broad WiFi coverage and a high quality branded portal page, both in their apartment and throughout the building, from the day they moved in.
With hundreds of residents living in close proximity using multiple devices, often at the same time, providing Wifi connectivity to support a multi-dwelling unit (MDU) requires a deep understanding of the fundamentals of WiFi technology, and this is where Curve IT’s experience comes to the fore.
We are passionate about delivering PRS internet services through robust, scalable WiFi networks for multi-occupant buildings, and have a specialist team which designs, creates and delivers an intelligent, futureproof IT infrastructure.
Curve IT are involved from RIBA stage 1-3 onwards, and early site visits enables our IT team to translate ideas into a high tech spec which can be incorporated before construction even begins.
As Patel puts it so succinctly: “These technologies have the potential to allow co-living residents to share resources more efficiently; to make opportunities for social interaction more visible or likely; and to connect residents to services and civic opportunities within the wider area in which they live.”
And as Essential Living says in its recent blog about the benefits of co-living, “It helps to build friendships in the physical world rather than the digital, and being part of a thriving community is perhaps the oldest and most effective way to make those connections.”
Co-living offers more connection – both on and offline.