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2019 Coliving Design Agencies

By Gui Perdrix (@guiperdrix)

· Resources

One of the most important part of coliving is design and architecture. Why?

Because the place has to be thought in terms of human connection.

If a coliving space is not thought-through, then natural serendipity can't be expected. That is why certain design agencies have put their focus on building out coliving spaces - and they're getting pretty good at it.

Here is the 2019 list of design agencies specialized in coliving. Hit them up if you want to create your own space or get advice - every interaction is worth the time.

Cutwork Studio

Website: cutworkstudio.com

Location: Paris

Notable Projects: Station F

Cutwork is a young, creative, award-winning architecture and design studio specialized in designing coworking and coliving environments - what they refer to as “cohabitation” projects. Cutwork understands that major urban/social challenges, such as rising cost of rent and the epidemic of loneliness, need to be tackled through community-driven design, and it’s their mission to create innovative solutions to overcome those challenges.

Notable projects include designing select interiors for Paris-based Station F, the world’s largest startup campus, as well as the full interior concept for the first large-scale coliving space in Paris, launching June 2019. In their own words, they design to help build better communities and encourage collaboration – both intentional and spontaneous.

The Station F coworking and incubation space, designede by Cutwork (Image source: Forbes)

Kanawha Design Studio

Website: kanawha.design

Location: Seattle & Vancouver

Notable Projects: The Red Victorian

Kanawha is the result of two incredible people - Katie Davis-Sayles, a designer and architect, and her husband Jacob Sayles, a creative and entrepreneurial technologist. Together, they formed a team that focusses on communal living projects, especially coworking and coliving.

Among others, Kanawha took part in the renovation of The Red Victorian, a beautiful house and one of Embassy Network's coliving spaces. One of their strength lies in integrating technology systems, which benefits those initiatives tremendously, especially when it comes to coworking spaces. As a side-note, Jacob is personally involved in this movement and founded Open Coworking, a non-profit that supports coworking spaces with resources and a community-driven approach.

The Red Victorian, a beautifully renovated living space in San Francisco.

Bond Society

Website: bond-society.com

Location: Paris

Notable Projects: Homy Coliving

Bond Society is another award-winning agency, among others who became a finalist for the Réinventer Paris competition, and has recently been heavily focussing on coliving.

The best part of Bond Society is their different initiatives. On one side, their design studio in.bond provides helps to architect with interior design and conceptualization, and on the other side, re:bond is their research arm, which explores societal trends and changes on the way we work and live. It was within re:bond that the architect duo Christelle Gautreau and Stéphanie Morio wrote the Homy Coliving Survey, in which they interviewed more than 30 coliving spaces.

The Homy Coliving project interviewed coliving spaces around the world on different themes. 

concrete Amsterdam

Website: concreteamsterdam.nl

Location: Amsterdam

Notable Projects: Zoku

concrete (spelled that way) is one of the more established firms in this category. With works all over the world, including several in the US, and a team of more than 50multi-disciplinary creatives, the design and architecture firm develops concepts from the ground up.

Their most memorable piece in the coliving industry is the coliving space Zoku in Amsterdam. With a high reputation for its stunning interior design, concrete did an amazing job at creating a beautiful, vivid atmosphere for travelers and mid-term stayers alike.

Zoku is an award-winning short-term loft, in between hotel and coliving.

Dreamstudio Architecture

Website: dreamstudioarchitecture.co.uk

Location: London

Notable Projects: Conscious Coliving Manifesto

Dreamstudio is an architecture firm lead by Tom Maxwell, who is part of the Coliving Research Group at the Art Earth Tech Institute and contributing to research social interaction and the facilitation of community within residential buildings.

The most notable part of Maxwell's work is his contribution to the Conscious Coliving manifesto - an archetype of fundamental value and vision pillars that coliving spaces should represent. It's his mission to bring more connection and conscious living to society, wherefore he co-created the Conscious Coliving consultancy, and continues offering his design services to residential living spaces. On a side-note, he personally lives in a conscious coliving space himself and runs well-being company on the side (hosting among others ecstatic dances). This man knows what he is talking about.

Parts of the Conscious Coliving manifesto, which you can find in depth here.

CoDesign

Website: codesign.se/en/techfarm

Location: Stockholm

Notable Projects: Techfarm

CoDesign focusses on meaningful participatory design methods. The design agency is multi-facetted, handling major works from analysis and feasibility studies, through to concept development, design, planning and implementation, and finally to follow-up and review.

CoDesign entered the coliving market with the creation of Techfarm, a "conscious coliving space" following the concept of maximizing compact living and the sharing of common areas and ideas. The main objective of this project was to create a high quality of life in the form of access to such things as yoga studios, private chefs and a gym.

A glimpse insight of Tech Farm, Stockholm's conscious coliving space

And one last one... Samara

Website: samara.com

Location: San Francisco

Notable Projects: Soon to come

Samara is a special one here. The design studio is AirBnb's research and design arm to prototype new ways that homes can be built and shared, guided by an ambition to realize more humanistic, future-oriented, and waste-conscious design.

While Samara hasn't built out projects yet, we can expect the team to create coliving spaces in the near future, as AirBnb has been recently getting involved into the coliving industry.

Anything We Forgot?

If you want to mention your consulting agency, leave a comment below or write me at colivingdiaries@gmail.com. You can also tag on Twitter @colivingdiaries.

About Me - I'm Gui and I explore the depth of coliving. In the past, I created several short-term coliving spaces in Barcelona and Bali. I'm currently documenting the coliving scene on the Coliving Diaries. You can find me on Twitter and chat with me here.

PS: Want to receive a weekly digest of worldwide coliving news? Subscribe to my Coliving Cocktail newsletter.

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