In recent years, communal living in San Francisco has gained widespread attention for its potential to address the affordability crisis in this highly desirable geography. While media accounts of this domestic typology primarily focus on its economic efficiency, this “necessity-oriented” explanation misses the breadth of motivations and manifestations of intentional communities– from socio-political values to professional networking and life-style affinities. Against the backdrop of well-known communes of the 1960s and 70s, At Home Together analyzes the social and spatial typologies of contemporary co-living conditions, revealing how these domestic typologies leverage their hold on scarce urban space while shaping broader communities.
At Home Together investigates the intentions and institutions of contemporary collective living experiments in San Francisco. Analyzing these domestic spaces through their spatial and social types as well as political ideology, the research aims to identify inherent patterns within the shifting conceptions of the public and private spheres. Against the backdrop of well-known communes of the 1960s and 70s, presented here are ten contemporary case studies of communal living– from communes to co-living to hacker hostels– as well as five projective design proposals. Framing the tension between the individual and the collective, At Home Together reveals the challenging negotiation between urban hardware and soft forms of reappropriation.
The Urban Works Agency
Co-Curators: Neeraj Bhatia & Antje Steinmuller
Research Team: Clare Hacko, Shawn Komlos, Bella Mang, Zhongwei Wang, Zizheng Wu
Consultants: Eric Rogers (Commune Governance), Jason Anderson (AR Consultant)
Additional Support: Natthakanya Intharasena, The San Francisco Planning Department
Project Design Team: Ania Burlinska, Clare Hacko, Cesmarie Jimenez, Haonan Jia, Alexander Pardes