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Envisioning shared life in 2030 with Irene Pereyra

Although the internet era promises us better communication, we are losing our fundamental human ability to share, says Irene Pereyra. With an increasing population, we may need to look at co-living as the solution to living together in the future.

In last week’s public lecture ‘One shared house: Co-living in the year 2030’ at Harbour.Space Irene Pereyra shared her vision of the future. She is a passionate UX Designer and is the co-founder of Anton & Irene, a Brooklyn based design studio. Together with Anton, she is also heading the Interaction Design programme at Harbour.Space.

After a ground-breaking project that examined a co-living co-working space in Amsterdam, IKEA approached Irene to work on a project called SPACE10 . SPACE10 is a future living lab based in Copenhagen, where IKEA is cooking up several projections for the future of co-existing - for living, for working, and even for farming.

The future is in the co. lifestyle.vent

The notion of co-habitation is not new. Many young professionals work at co-working spaces. These offer young professionals a ‘pilot’ office and the chance to network. Co-working has gained popularity around the globe, with Spain ranking third in Europe for its number of co-working spaces.


The lines between ‘home’ and ‘work’ have also been blurred”


Pereyra believes co-living is the next leap. “The lines between ‘home’ and ‘work’ have also been blurred,” Irene shares. Only 37% of millennials say they feel most at home in their apartment. Around 70% of the young generation say they feel at home in other people’s apartments, in co-working spaces, or even when working in Starbucks.

Unfortunately, architecture does not accommodate this need for binary spaces. Today’s living spaces are designed for a static user: a bachelor, a couple or a family. They are not flexible. To help visualise the living space of the future, Anton & Irene have created website called ‘ONE SHARED HOUSE: 2030’ . This site will allow users to become familiar with the concept of co-living, and will go live at the end of 2017.

The idea is, it’s playful, it’s a little game in the future”. Irene calls it “playful research”. She has collected the data and presented an interactive story about co-living where the site educates and re-educates users on the concept of co-existing. Co-living: getting back to basics

Irene looked to the past to find solutions for the future. People have co-existed throughout history. There are more recent examples of different regions that shared a living space with others, such as boarding in the US in the 1900’s; the kommunalka shared living in Russia, and the hippies shared living communities in Scandinavia and elsewhere in the world.

We wanted to take trends of today, extrapolate them and try to figure out where that future might be.”

Communal living is seen as the solution to skyrocketing living costs and rapid urbanisation and population growth in the future.

Due to high living costs, the number of 18-35-year-olds living together has doubled in recent years. People would rather pool their resources and share a space then try to buy an apartment or other amenities.

This is the first generation that makes less money than their parents did at their age.”

The future of the ‘co. lifestyle’ offers another solution. One of the trends Irene identifies is that the millennial generation is the loneliest generation, even though we are the most connected. With all of our time spent on the internet, we are losing our abilities to socialise, share and interact. Co-living could provide a space that encourages sharing and communication among people from various groups and backgrounds.

Communal living as problem-solving for the future

Aside from the astronomical living expenses, cities of the future need to accommodate for a mass influx of people. The global population is predicted to grow by 1.2 billion people within the next 13 years, with 95% of that growth taking place in emerging economies such as India and China. These countries are not unfamiliar with high population densities, but to house everyone, innovation leaps in architecture and designing co-living spaces are necessary.


70% of the global population will be living in urban an area – which is 16% more than the current demographic. To accommodate the rapid increase in population and urbanisation, a city the size of New York needs to be built every six months.

We need to get back into the sharing mentality. We are already sharing working spaces, our apartments on Airbnb and even our cars. Is sharing our home such an alien concept? It is already happening: co-living spaces are popping up all over the world, with 8,000 and counting. Through designing an interactive site, OUR SHARED HOUSE: 30 hopes to bring co-living closer to reality.

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