October 15, 2018 / Insight

Catering to Co-Cities

In a world of global nomads, the concept of home will change drastically.

Co-living will be the foundation to how we live our lives. We are already seeing this manifest with the likes of LifeX in Copenhagen and Berlin. Last year, Mini Living announced plans to build a co-living concept in Shanghai, whereby singles, families and shares can live on short to medium term tenancies. Enlightened in execution, we have the Assemblage, which pitches itself as ‘collaboration for the future of humanity’ in New York. Here, 79 apartments come in a short stay and extended stay offering. Over in Bali, we have Hubud, which invites creatives, truth-seekers and techies to enjoy location independence in both life and business. It’s safe to say, it’s global phenomenon.

The two former examples place emphasis on combing entrepreneurship with social activism, with a firm belief that to do well is to do good. With this ethos, we arrive at the concept of ‘co-giving’. Take a look at our post covering ‘do good brands’ to see why brands must contribute to causes bigger than their own in order to be future facing.

In our co-living world, families, singles, creatives all live together, under one roof. At the same this, our urban population is increasing.

Our future is collective. Our future is our cities.

In our last post, we spoke about the importance of designing retail in these cities to ensure we create spaces that carry soul and character. To do this, we must focus on culture. Yet, as we design for this future, we must ask ourselves how we can cater to the rise of co-cities, where the concept of home is both a shared entity and reality?

In this community-centric world, retail will be fully immersed within our home. Brands will enter the four walls where we live, sleep, work, eat and play. At present, creating experiences in retail are almost skeletal to a store. They are the lifeblood. Without them, brands fail to capture consumer engagement. What’s the next step? As we head towards the future of co-cities, how will our daily experiences with retail and brands transform, be challenged and redefined?

Like stores today, the emotive experience of residents in co-living formats will be paramount. As global nomads continue to rise, different people, with different backgrounds all under one roof, how do we inspire connection? With more people living in shared concepts, and this set to be the norm in 2030, how will we shop, engage and participate with brand experiences that essentially share our home?

Like co-giving, co-working and co-living, it is that ‘co’ factor that will be instrumental.

In this increasingly social living format, our design cues must thus become social in motivation.

We could take cues from LifeX, where the co-living concept business ensures that a sense of belonging is achieved by helping people make friends from day one. This sense of belonging was echoed by MINI LIVING, where the brand hosted a house vision exhibition in Beijing last month. Retail designers therefore must ask what belonging means. If we turn to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, then we can see that this constitutes as intimacy, friendships and love. If retail is to exist in a shared home concept, then the design experience must inspire social interaction, conversation and intimacy.

Key Takeaways

Are you ready for cities of the future? How can you brand experience become intrinsic to consumer experience in the rise of collective cities?

Collaboration is the blueprint. How can your brand prepare to enter the world of shared homes? How can you brand offering transform consumer daily experiences in co-living environments?

How can your retail experience inspire social engagement and create a sense of belonging?

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