Co-Liv Summit 2018, Day 1: the future is live! (part 1)

Co-Liv Summit launched yesterday, for the second time, in Paris. Day 1 of this Summit 2018 gathered not only the local Parisian co-living ecosystem but also people from San Francisco, New York, Porto Alegre, Brazil, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Taipei and far beyond. We chose Paris, a city where co-living is buzzing, to unveil existing and upcoming European initiatives and inspire more to come. Over 200 co-living aficionados got to meet in one of the most interesting “third places” of Paris, Les Grands Voisins, with amazing speakers, and we want to tell you everything about it!

The day kicked off the day with a summary of summary of what we think co-living is. I, as the Executive Director of Co-Liv, insisted on the many forms of co-living in its target audience, architectural shape and in its use. For Co-Liv, co-living is simply a set of shared spaces with a built-in community that is managed by a third-party and provides access to a better quality of life. From live/work/enjoy campuses to large-scale tower-shaped co-livings, co-working and micro-living hotels, shared houses, destination homes for location-independent workers and rural workation retreats, co-living encompasses many ways to experience life, with others. Around the globe, existing spaces gather multigenerational, diverse crowd, proving that this lifestyle attracts curious minds far beyond “millennials”. For us, co-living is much more than a good business opportunity, it’s a concrete tool to address local sustainability challenges.

Virginia Scapinelli, from consulting firm Stonup, identified three fundamental characteristics for co-living — space, community and services — and from there defined five different co-living models:

  • the lifestyle-oriented model, whereby you access enhanced life through the sharing of multiple amenities;
  • the mobility-oriented model for people constantly on the move;
  • the work-oriented model for people who need to travel medium- to long-term to a specific location for work;
  • the cost-oriented model, it’s the typical hacker house, for students, startupers and entrepreneurs who are on a budget;
  • and finally the community-oriented model, which really cares about who you are, what you do, why do you want to live there.

This categorization resonated with Siobhan McManus from Webster Apartments, a century-old boarding-house in New York City, created to host all single women moving to the Big Apple for work.

Hans Meyer, a founder of Zoku, which attracts workers and innovators from around the globe, in one the coolest-looking communal hotels you’ll encounter, shared their prototyping process, He explained how, wanting to to move from the spreadsheet-driven hospitality world, he put the guest back at the center of his approach. On that journey they reaffirmed the importance of shared meals — “eating is the most social activity anywhere in the world!” — and discovered how much building a new social life was important to cities’ newcomers. So Lucas Crobach from his team had us answer a few questions about who those co-livers are, and how we can break the stereotypes : am I the stereotyped nomad youngster that is constantly on the move? Yes possibly, at this particular moment of my life, but I have gone through and I am about to go through other phases of my life, seeking different types of co-living. Stephanie Morio, an architect from Bond Society, illustrated this point with insightful data from her study Homy. According to her, 56% of co-livers are employees, 51% are over 30 and 63% are native of their country. For Stephanie, thinking about how we want to “cohabit” cities is more important than hiping the term co-living, and we agree! Again, co-living is just a way of putting users at the center of our design process… and in Lucas’ live survey yesterday, the “Spice Girls” themed co-living crushed the “Backstreet Boys” one with an overwhelming majority!

Irene Pereyra, from Anton&Irene, and the author of the studies OneSharedHouse and OneSharedHouse2030, also prefers avoiding the term co-living. She calls it communal living. Her perspective on this movement is particularly interesting because she not only employed herself to create the world’s largest user database about co-living but she also grew up in a communal home, in Amsterdam in the 80s. In order to understand how we will live communally in the future, Irene went back in time, and looked at what changed since she was a child. She found that, while “home” had a very clear definition back then, only 37% of millennials now feel most at home in their own private residence. Living with roommates has doubled since 1980. And the number of americans with no close friends has tripled since 1985. So Anton & Irene asked 21 questions to thousands of people from 160 countries, to find out what their ideal way of living together would look like. I won’t tell more, take the survey, it’s worth the game!

My friend and colleagues Ryan Fix, a co-founder of Co-Liv, is will take you through part 2 of this first day at Co-Liv Summit 2018. If you are around, join us today!

** Co-Liv is an international non-profit organization, an ecosystem and a do-tank whose mission is to support the development of the phenomenon of coliving. Co-Liv brings together entrepreneurs, operators, real estate investors, developers, designers, architects, planners and decision makers who believe in new lifestyles and housing. Co-Liv is supported by BFS, Entrecom, Accor, ADIM Occitanie, Euroméditerranée, QUARTUS and Bouygues Immobilier. **