Communal living isn’t just something for punks and hippies anymore. That’s become clear in recent years, as increasing numbers of new housing schemes are cropping up in Europe and beyond that engage the question of communal living with pragmatic approaches in financing and social organization. It’s a good opportunity to ask the question: How can design contribute to experiments with alternative social arrangements, subvert the logics of capitalism from within the system, and – finally – help us better live with each other?

That’s the focus of a large exhibition that we are curating together with EM2N architects for the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, scheduled to open in June 2017 (and travelling afterwards to other places). We’re already hard at work with preparations, and we could use your help! The exhibition will feature a selection of recent collective housing projects, represented with the help of large-scale models. While we’ve already made a preliminary selection of projects, we’d like to turn to you, dear friends of Ruby Press, to draw on your amazing collective expertise.

We’re looking for projects in housing that fulfill the following criteria:

1. Blur the boundaries between private and communal space through design (by reducing the size of private apartments in favor of larger communal facilities, for example).
2. Provide means to socially integrate people with non-nuclear family arrangements (singles, multi-generational families, etc.).
3. Located in an urban context and includes public facilities for the surrounding community.
4. Feature innovative financial strategies that aim to create affordable housing while generating a surplus social value.

Anyone know of any projects along these lines? The more recent, the better! The project could still even be in the planning stages, but it would ideally be close to finished by the time the exhibition opens in June 2017. We’re particularly looking for examples from outside of Europe and North America, but projects from all over the world are welcome.

If you have any exciting projects to share, just write them in the comments section below the corresponding Facebook post or send us an email with information about the project name, project architect, and a link to more information about the project. We’ll accept projects until May 10, 2016.

As a thank you for your help, we’ll send a free copy of the exhibition catalog (to be co-published by Ruby Press and Vitra Design Museum in June 2017) to the people who submit the five best suggestions.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

  • Kraftwerk1, Zürich