The emergence of new housing models based on sharing and cooperation can be ascribed to a number of things, such as the need to keep costs and expenses down, as well as the socio-cultural changes that are reshaping contemporary lifestyles.
Increasing numbers of people are keen to establish what are known as “weak” links, not blood relationships – although just as strong or even stronger than family ties – with temporarily consensual communities, homogenous groups set up and reformed and recomposed according to existential choices and life stages.
The co-housing phenomenon, for example, involves individuals and families who select each other and who plan the residential community together, choosing what to share: micro-crèches for children, kitchen gardens, communal kitchens, swimming pools, car sharing or smart caretaking services that look after the utility bills and joint expenditure.
Another interesting example of this sort of coming together are Framilies – a cross between the words families and friends – meaning “families by choice”, communities of friends of all ages, alongside established family setups. These are actual metropolitan tribes – also characterised by “liquidity” and multiple allegiances – formed around equally identificatory habits and rituals.
The common factor in these behaviours seems to be a widespread desire for new social cohesion and a need to feel part of a group – which also applies to housing – in which each individual and their own identities can grow and be supported, bringing the benefit of close and rewarding relational experiences.