“Life is changing. We must design for it.” Jack Self, 2016 British Pavilion
Resource limitations. Housing crisis. Increasing inequality. Insecure work. Mass migration. Connectivity. Cheap travel. Flexible hours. Easy money. Stuff on demand. Space on demand.
The existing fixed infrastructure of cities is out of step with the indeterminacy of 21st Century living.
The sharing economy offers radical, dynamic solutions for rewiring and reprogramming the hardware of cities.
Platforms like Airbnb, Uber, Task Rabbit, Creative Spaces, Venuemob, Deliveroo, Tinder and Splacer are irreversibly transforming the way we experience, navigate, organize and occupy the city.
But there are also claims that sharing economy giants like Airbnb are fueling the housing crisis, accelerating gentrification and displacing residents, and at the same time, avoiding taxes.
How can architects and urbanists respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by the sharing economy?
How do we plan for and around disruption?
What are the new urban and spatial dynamics of the sharing economy?
This studio will critically interrogate ways that the global sharing economy interacts with the social, economic, political, and morphological particularities of cities, through a comparative analysis.
We will employ data analysis and mapping techniques to understand the disruptive potential and dangers of sharing economies. We will begin by looking at Airbnb as a case study.
Input from governments, planners and designers is necessary. As a class we will embark on developing a manual for sharing alongside design proposals.
What new typologies, programs and experiences emerge when architecture is driven by sharing?
Studio outcomes may include imaginative typological, programmatic or experiential design propositions that respond to the architectural and urban implications of the sharing economy. Projects will be developed iteratively through physical and digital models, time-based representations and drawings, and informed by key design precedents, literature and exhibitions.
In the spirit of sharing, students will have the opportunity to access Supershared, a purpose-built loft space by Jacqui Alexander and Timothy Moore at the RMIT Design Hub, for the purposes of publicly sharing findings as part of upcoming exhibition, Occupied.