For many years now, humans have been encroaching on the planet, claiming for themselves the biggest chunk of Earth. Differentiation has become the practice wherein everyone wants to disregard the needs of the ‘others’. This other category encompasses people from other places, nationalities, color or caste, nature, wildlife, ageing population, disabled or poor. However, co-existence in the expanding world is not anymore a choice, but a necessity. Let’s talk deeply about co-existing, how designers can create more efficient shared living spaces to decelerate our exploitation of the planet.
1. Level Up
Revitalizing an old unused terrace in the industrial hub of Rijeka in Croatia, this public pavilion by Brett Mahon, Joonas Parvienien, Saagar Tulshan and Shreyansh Sett brings locals together. The simple integrative design is an aim to adapt and re-use an abandoned industrial building to form fun upbeat spaces for locals to plan events and relax. Public spaces offer a chance to interact with other people in a free open environment as well as put to use buildings which when left unused become the spot for shady activities. Level up, like the name suggests, offers various many steps, provides a terrace view of the city and is a fun place to hang out, be with friends and meet new people.
2. Share House
A lot of metropolitan and student cities are coming up with shared living spaces for young and old in an attempt to save resources and encourage bonding between people. One such example is the Share House by Naruse Inokuma Architects in Nagoya, Japan. Designed with 13 equal sized bedrooms and shared living spaces like kitchens, bathrooms, dining and lounge space, this minimalist house encourages co-existence among strangers. The open planning and 3-dimensional inner living space acts a catalyst for bonding, gathering and forming friendships. This concept is much needed in student dormitories or houses, in schools and offices to stimulate interaction amidst different groups.
3. Tūranga Christchurch New Central Library
The New Central Library in Christchurch cathedral square in New-Zealand aims to bring people together and strengthen the society while harboring new ideas and knowledge. This library by Schimdt Hammer Lassen Architects + Architectus boasts of open integrative spaces, be it the stepped seating adjacent to the staircase, the huge naturally lit entrance or the staggering staircases which makes it so easy for people to wave and greet each other. The library also consists of interesting spaces for children with colorful play areas and reading spaces. Teens and adults can also enjoy in reading areas, music studios and open public spaces. A library is the perfect architectural addition when speaking of co-existence and offers the appropriate public space for integration.
4. Unova co-working spaces
X + Living design firm has come up with this bright and colorful co-working space in Shenzhen, China called Unova. Created with a upbeat concept to provide novel working areas for professionals, this co-working space boasts of eclectic furniture, a ball-pool for brainstorming sessions, statement furniture and a young vibe. The details like mirrors, fixtures and furnitures take a cue from various artists like Van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci making this a cheerful artsy atmosphere to work in. Co-working spaces are a great spatial concept as they bring freelance or working professionals together, sparks new collaborations and shared ideas.
Shared living and working spaces are a great way for people to come together and shed differences. Designers have the opportunity to experiment with different architectural and interior design trends, where the client isn’t just one person or family, but a larger group of people. In this case, the stakeholders need to be more cleverly analysed to create better functional and aesthetic spaces. Living together could make us realize how we are all the same somehow and maybe reduce hate. Keeping in mind the vibe and context of the place with the intent of sparking interaction and integration, designers can plan more spaces for healthy co-existence between humans, animals and nature.