These new, very real demands from a large slice of the population are generating new genres of residential facilities, strongly “socialising” in nature, and new shared understandings of what habitation means.
More and more people are going through a much longer “suspended adulthood” than in the past, in other words, they are taking longer to hone their own social, cultural and relational identities before they become firmly established. The upshot is a diminished desire for commitment and stability, with greater value placed on the quality of experiences than on the ownership of goods just for the sake of it or seeking out – including where and how to live – the same level of convenience, comfort, flexibility and immediacy to which they have become accustomed thanks to the new technologies.
The Collective Old Oak in London and the Common in Brooklyn are state-of-the-art residential complexes that provide an innovative response to these emerging new demands, leveraging a renewed sense of community. Their concept is part student lodging and part hotel. Members pay a monthly subscription, for which they get a private apartment and access to communal spaces – lounge and dining areas, a kitchen, garden – as well as workstations, WiFi, concierge, cleaning, security services and cinema, spa and gym facilities.