Ecco a voi il racconto in viedo! Grazie a Giancarlo Piccinno!!
Siamo appena tornate da Berlino, dove abbiamo visitato di nuovo Experimentdays. Se ci leggete, vorrà dire che siete per lo meno curiosi riguardo ai nuovi modi di vivere, che forse cercate una nuova casa dove le relazioni tra i vicini siano importanti. Forse pensate che la casa possa essere una risorsa anche per il quartiere. Forse, semplicemente volete vivere meglio in città. Ma come si fa? Cos'è il cohousing? Dove trovo altre persone interessate? E chi mi aiuta poi con il progetto? Qual'è la differenza tra una cooperativa a proprietà divisa a quella a proprietà indivisa? Ci sono finanziamenti particolari? Tante domande e dubbi...
Immaginate ora di avere una fiera che metta assieme tutti gli attori coinvolti, che vi permetta di conoscere ciò che succede nella vostra città e di proporre nuovi progetti. Un luogo per i gruppi, per gli architetti, per le cooperative e le associazioni. Una fiera che vi dia l'opportunità di avere nello stesso luogo, sotto occhio tutto il mondo dell' abitare collaborativo. Questa è Experiementdays.
In breve, Experimentdays è:
- un evento locale annuale
- un punto d’incontro per persone imprese e associazioni legate al mondo delle abitazioni collaborative
- una vetrina di progetti esistenti dai quali imparare
- una fiera di progetti architettonici e di prodotti edilizi e finanziari creati apposta per gruppi di persone che vogliano costruire e vivere assieme nel rispetto dell’ambiente
- un luogo dove incontrare altri individui che vogliono fare gruppo o comunità esistenti che cercano nuovi membri.
- una conferenza sul tema.
A Berlino quest'anno gli espositori erano divisi in quattro aree:
- reti e consulenza: qui potevate trovare (tra gli altri) la piattaforma digitale per trovare i progetti WOHNPORTAL Berlin, così come Grüne Liga, che vi aiuta a trasformare il cortile in giardino. Anche Netzwerkagentur GenerationenWohnen, per abitazioni con mix sociale e prezzo equo.
- Banche e Fondazioni: DKB Bank e GLS Bank tutte a due con prodotti finanziari pensati ad-hoc per le abitazioni sociali e di cooperazione. Le due fondazioni: Stiftung Edith Maryon e Stiftung trias con i loro processi pensati per i gruppi e i progetti dal basso.
- Cooperative, consorzi e gruppi di costruzione indipendenti: qui una lista di oltre una decina di progetti esistenti e in corso, consorzi specializzati e cooperative indipendenti. Alcuni esempi: Baugruppe Wohnhaus P03, utopia berlin, and GbR Integratives Bauvorhaben am ehemaligen Blumengrossmarkt.
Attorno alla fiera ci sono, durante una settimana intera, molti altri eventi: workshop di costruzione, visite guidate (a carico di creative sustainable tours), conferenze e tavole rotonde. Molte persone arrivano alla fiera ed è oramai un appuntamento importante a Berlino per chi vuole trovare una casa/un gruppo/un professionista etc.
Ora un piccolo segreto (pronti?): quest'anno ci siamo andate con una bella intenzione: capire come fare una fiera simile a Milano. Crediamo che sia ora, che i tempi siano maturi e che possa realmente portare innovazione nella nostra città e nei nostri modi di vivere.
Voi che ne dite? Noi non vediamo l'ora.
something wonderful happened during my previous summer vacation. I fell in love! It happened just before the vacation when I realized: Hey, i am traveling with two small children... maybe i should book some rooms in advance...
It was almost too late. The places i found were either too expensive or not suitable for us. I was sure i could find some affordable 4 bed bedroom in a hostel. This is what i wanted. I wanted a simple room and the possibility to use a kitchen. Using the kitchen when traveling with the family is really important. 1) you save a lot of money 2) you can prepare a nice simple dinner that everyone likes. 3) you don’t have to hear your 1 year old baby crying for one whole hour before you find a way to warm her some milk. But, it wasn’t so easy. Some hostels do not have 4 bed bedrooms, others did not have a kitchen, for others it was clear we would be surrounded by very young high/drunk people that we will end up envying for the whole time. So... ok, let’s look for an apartment. And then my love story begins. I sign up for Airbnb. NOW... I know a lot about airbnb. I red about it, heard about it, know people who used it. But, until the moment i began using it i did not understand the MAGIC. So, I don’t want to tell you EVERYTHING about the company. You can read some about it all around the web or in the book “what mine is yours” for example or HERE or HERE. To make a long story short it is an online platform allowing to rent rooms or apartments between privates. So I looked for my room. The platform is really easy to use, like any booking system you put your destiny and dates for a basic search. Then you get information about the rooms/apartments and can either book directly or contact the owner. I realize then that i did not need necessarily an apartment, i could have a room, but for this I need to contact people directly. I write my msg to the first person and send it. The system suggest i contact similar offers. I do. I copy my msg thinking to personalize it and send it again, but when i reach the page i see this has already done for me! the site copies your last msg, taking off the personal name. (So, if you wrote “Hi Dany”, the system would automatically leave only “Hi”). Small things that makes you feel everything is thought for you. OH...those small signs on a first date... (ahhh.... he just cited my favorite book). Going on with my date i loved:
- The cancellation conditions system that is clearly explain with THIS
- Road directions made for you
- Easy format for leaving reviews.
- THE WISH LIST!! (i was just asking myself sometime ago why booking.com doesn’t have one... and here goes...)
The App for android is also good. Some things are more complicated to do, but you can have extra options like “find me a place for tonight” based on your location.Using the digital interface was great!!
Then, When we reached the places we booked it was very interesting to see the stories behind the people. In the first place, a girl was renting two rooms all summer to save some money. She lived in the living room for that time (it is a separate room). A nice way she found to offer her guests a morning coffee was to leave beside the bed coffee capsules for her coffee machine. The second one had a completely different story: a girl rented a whole house for summer vacation in the center of a very charming summer town. To cover her expenses she sublet the other two rooms. It was a very simple situation, but the only way to stay in the center without paying a lot of money. So, Airbnb allows people to get creative about their life and make some extra money if it is for everyday life or vacation.
What more can be done??
- I was thinking about this specific situation of renting a room in a place where you live. The small things that could make it easier to do might be: stickers to put around the place, like: smoking area, Shampoo for common use, This food belongs to ….
There could be an open directory of stickers to download and print out. People that get use to travel in this way will be happy to find the signs they already know, but this will not take off any of the personalization of the place. An on the spot evidence of the service.
- A family friendly “certification”. If people declare they have some specific objects like a high chair a baby bed or other can have a special sign on their website. for me it would have made the difference. It is not enough to know that they are suitable or except families (even though it is very important), but as airbnb users begin to have competition, it can be a plus for them to have a way to diverse their offer.
This is what you see today:
It might show as a badge after the people who are renting out have filled a dedicated form
Last time I wrote about the Russian expression of housing as welfare hubs in the '20. Moving to a similar idea, we go to Sweden and to an Idea born by the fight of women to a more manageable everyday life. The “central kitchen idea” in Sweden is part of the experiments of dwellings with integrated services: Those were related with the functionalist approach; Louis Sullivan, probably the most known for this idea, was striving for "honest" approaches to building design that focused on functional efficiency.
The first functionalist collective housing unit in Sweden, built in 1935 at John Ericssonsgatan 6 in Stockholm. Picture from http://anavedobomgosto.blogspot.it/2012/02/john-ericssonsgatan-6.html
In Sweden - as in other European countries - functionalist architects regarded housing with collective services as a logical expression of modernization. The word "collective housing unit" ( "kollektivhus" in Swedish) seems to have been introduced by the functionalists. In Sweden the idea was mainly developed by Sven Markelius, architect (later professor) and Alva Myrdal, social reformer (later minister and UN peace negotiator). For them collective housing was not only an instrument to "collectivize the maid" as in earlier experiments, but rather to enable women to combine house work and paid employment outside the home.
Alva Myrdal wrote: “Urban housing, where twenty families each in their own apartment cook their own meat-balls, where a lot of young children are shut in, each in his or her own little room – doesn’t this cry for an overall planning, for a collective solution?!”
Sven Markelius' kollektivhus vid John Ericssonsgatan 6. Picture from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kollektivhus_Markelius_1.jpg
She saw the need and the potential in urban dwellings and the kitchen was a starting point together with a place for children to socialize. Cooking remains one of the main activities for women to mange beyond their work; to offer quality dishes for the whole family the women in the early 20 had to think about going out for grocery, preparing and washing. This became difficult as more and more women went to work n the morning and got back home just in time for dinner. On the other had, as family were shrinking, children alone in their house were isolated and did not cultivate social relationships. This is the reason for the first collective houses in Sweden to concentrate on food and children care.
The first functionalist collective housing unit in Sweden was built in 1935 at John Ericssonsgatan 6 in Stockholm. It was designed by Sven Markelius, who lived there himself for many years. In this design, three clusters of long, ten-story slabs including separate communal dining facilities were arranged in an open landscape. Each building group was a thinly disguised version of Russian collective housing experiments of the late 1920's such as the Narkmofin building in Moscow.
The kindergarten, founded according to Alva Myrdal's theories, was the first one in Sweden where modern educational methods were applied. One had the choice to eat in the ground floor restaurant or have the meals deliver up through small elevators. Thus, housewives did not have to plan for meals until they returned back from their work in the evening. In all of those solutions though, services were offered to the family to ease its daily life and especially women life. Really managing the collective services y themselves is an evolution of those forms.
A collective kitchen in Sweden, today. Picture from: http://www.kollektivhus.nu/vad_ar_kollektivhus.html
I want to thank Dick Urban Vestbro for all this information and knowledge. Some of his articles are cited here:
The house, as I concluded last time has a great potential in becoming an urban welfare hub. Putting the house in the middle of the welfare system is not a new idea. The structure of city housing makes it easier to implement services. When many people share the same roof, one can easily imagine they can also share a series of services fitting their needs. This idea was described by the Utopians in different periods. Thomas More, the author of the book ‘Utopia’ who gave the movement its name, described neighborhood groups with common dining rooms and leisure facilities. Some models in northern Europe were build and tested in the beginning of the 20th century and are probably the rout of collaborative housing forms.
In Russia, in the late 1920, together with the advocacy to a more communal lifestyle, there was a shift towards offering spaces for greater individual freedom. Architects proposed some changes in the type of communal housing; they maintain the idea of needing communal areas and services but allow some freedom and privacy as well. This is the case of Narkomfin building designed by the Association of Contemporary Architects, addressed by Moisei Ginzburg and Ignaty Milinis. It is a clear example of Russian Constructivism, a first prototype of this new paradigm "transitional" of collective life.
In Narkomfin, Ginzburg, broke with traditional forms of construction, spatial composition and architecture of the complex and show the radical search for a new contemporary apartment blocks. The building would become a prototype of the modern apartment blocks and housing estates throughout Europe. The building offered about 50 living units composed of 4 buildings: a dining room (with pre-cooked food), gym, solarium, gardens, daycare service. The block of services are only half finished and the building of the kindergarten was never built. A library, a two-level garden on the roof and a solarium with recreation areas together with shared kitchen and communal dining hall were completed.
M.A. Ilyin, 'Corner detail of the Narkomfin building', photographed in 1931 Department of Photographs, Shchusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow
Ginsburg’s nephew writes about the buiding: “the Narkomfin building was supposed to be a new type of house that would be transitional between the traditional family dwelling and the new communal way of living. At the same time, however, even the more traditional apartments here are very unusual. They resemble mini-cottages arranged along a corridor as if along an internal street. In spite of their small size, the F-type units seem larger as a result of the alternation of one- and one-and-a-half-height storeys. the upper corridor was not just an element in the house’s system of communications; it also served as a recreational space. Also recreational were the open first storey and the usable roof. All in all, the house had a wide range of public spaces linking it with its surroundings. The communal block, linked to the residential part by a second-storey passageway, and the small laundry building, approached by a special path leading through the park, made up a miniature ensemble consisting of three laconic structures”.
Narkomfin was the first fully realised building constructed to the five principles of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus professor Hinnerk Scheper worked on the colour scheme. Le Corbusier acknowledged the influence Narkomfin had on him and his Unité des Habitation (1946-1952) in Marseille, is seen as the continuation of ideas first realised by Ginzburg.
Actually the idea of the building and the fact the the building (and architecture) could have an impact on the way people live, turned out to be a failure. As well written HERE: "As a building it was designed to physically change a way of life. Ultimately, the course of political events had more impact upon the Narkomfin than it ever could have had over its inhabitants. It’s early ambitions to be the architectural engine of social reform in revolutionary Russia were so radical that they were abandoned almost as soon as the building was complete, when political pragmatism invariably set in". This is a first point that is very interesting: building and architecture alone cannot influence the inhabitants without the right political or social support.
After many years of abbondandes with various projects that failed (like The WATCH ), Alexei Ginzburg, grandson of the building's designer, has led the effort to preserve the building. In 2008 an exhibition titled Narkomfin House and its Importance was hosted in the Schusev State Museum of Architecture. Additionally, plans were announced for the Narkomfin building to be converted into a boutique hotel by real estate developers MIAN. In January 2009 it was reported that these plans had been delayed as a result of changed economic conditions. in the mean time and today the building is squatted by young artists. This occupation represents an interesting trend today of return to the use of communal areas in order to permit creative and artistic work. More about the artist HERE
Last time I wrote about how our house is a private place divided into very precise rooms that offer different uses. This time i would like to talk about why do we feel this way about the house and how could we change our point of view towards more shared and collective uses of the home.
The house is a lot about balancing private and public space. This depends critically on different cultures. In his book, ‘The Hidden Dimension’, Edward T. Hall[i] introduces for the first time the following dimensions of spaces:
Picture from HERE
- Intimate space: the closest "bubble" of space surrounding a person. Entry into this space is acceptable only for the closest friends and intimates.
- Personal space: the region surrounding a person, which they regard as psychologically theirs. Most people value their personal space and feel discomfort, anger, or anxiety when their personal space is encroached
- Social space—the spaces in which people feel comfortable conducting routine social interactions with acquaintances as well as strangers.
- Public space—the area of space beyond which people will perceive interactions as impersonal and relatively anonymous.
Picture from the tv serie "Friends" - the couch as a social space
In western countries one may say that the house is hosting intimate and personal spaces mostly. The bedroom and the bathroom particularly address the intimate dimension. The rest of the house, where there is contact with other family members can be called personal space. The living room and the kitchen may become social places when hosting friends. Hall explains how, for examples, the American children are growing with the idea of having their own personal bedroom. (Or at least a space dedicated to them only, in the house). This creates for them a certain dependency on the private space as they grow. Working spaces for adults will allow people separate intimate spaces. In the UK, on the contrary, children grow up in a nursery, the children room. They share the space with their siblings and consider it as personal space. In the British culture, it is shown how work places are often open and people are used to working in social and public spaces.
Picture taken from HERE
The space influences us, and they way we perceive space influences the design of housing. City housing situation is delicate. Urban dwellings are the answer for the large amount of people that slowly gather in cities. Those put together many apartments in order to use a given area to create enough space for many people. People have to share a lot of space and live next to each other without intruding the intimate and personal space. Many spaces around the house are social spaces like the stairs, the sideway or the square. Social relationships with neighbors often happen in those spaces rather then in ones’ house. I might meet my neighbor in the local shop every day and have a small chat and never invite her over to my house. The children may play in the local playground and create a friendship without visiting one’s house. If social relationships and sense of community are important for one’s well being in the city, those social spaces of interaction should be of great importance. Not only they allow people to meet but they are also recourse in terms of services.
Good neighbours in Regent Square, Salford (left to right): Alan Houghton, Debbie Swift, Natalie and Leon Warmington, Hilda Danson, Sandra Wilding and Anne-Marie Armsden. Photograph: Howard Barlow From HERE
If we reconsider the house and the home in urban areas an think about it as a potential welfare hub, we might come up with a different perception of space and they way we use it. Next time i will explore the idea of the house as welfare hub.
[i] Hall.E.T (1996) The hidden Dimention. Garden city: ney work. Anchor.
I would like to share with you some thoughts i am having. these are parts of my soon complete dissertation. Comments and suggestions are very welcome. hope you can enjoy it.
Housing. Part 1. what is the home?
“ It is (the home), most basically, shelter from the elements; it is security and privacy from the outside world; it is space in which to relax, learn and live; it is access to more or less comfort, but the home also places the household in a specific neighborhood context which may influence accessibility to relatives, friends, shopping, leisure, public services and employment ”. (European parliament)[i]
The home is something we all consider to be a protected place for our families and ourselves. It is a civil right of a first degree as we consider it a shelter. The home is also a status, a demonstration of possessions and a dream. Many people spend most of their earnings on the house (approx. 30% of the income in USA and Europe).
The concept of the house and the home as we know it today has changed radically in modern times. Most people in developed countries perceive the home as a private space. A place separated from the outside public space and where people can also find inner private rooms to isolate themselves from others. Housing in Europe in the middle ages had basically no private spaces. The same spaces were used for living, working and sleeping. The concept of the bedroom in fact, is rather new. If you ask people what is the most private space in their house they are likely to answer the bedroom or the bathroom. Both of the rooms are new concepts that were integrated into houses mainly after the world wars[ii]. When we think about the home we think about a place that hosts one or more members of the household, divided into rooms that have specific purposes. In his book “species of spaces”[iii] Perec describes the apartment as a together of rooms where people do various activities. He describes the use of the house by the people living in it putting an emphasis on the single rooms. By doing that, he creates a caricature of the house uses. He also asks if it is really necessary that the rooms would be divided by the activities and not by other means. In his ironic way, Perec draws conclusions on the apartment: “two elementary conclusions may be drawn that I offer by way of definitions
1. every apartment consists of a variable but finite number of rooms
2. each room has a particular function “
Those rooms, so much isolated and specialized are pretty new. In fact, the corridor that allows rooms to have a single entrance is an invention from about 100 years. Until then, rooms were connected and had often two doors. Therefor passing inside a room just to reach another one was a normal thing to do. Corridors “were developed as a tool to separate different groups of people – the servants – from the served, the jailed from the jailors, and workers from distractors. By separating circulation from destination, they increased the efficiency through which people could move through buildings, while at the same time turning rooms into a series of dead ends” [iv].
The house quickly became a private space where one can decide to not come and interact with the other people inside. Some rooms remain “common” like the kitchen, the bathroom or the living room. Nevertheless, more and more often the bedroom in modern houses includes a private bathroom and a TV. This makes the occasions for encounter inside the house even less frequent.
The house is the institution of our age of abundance. If we have seen before how what we own is shaping our personal identity, where we live, is the space where all of those are collected and exhibited. Our personal identify is reflected in our homes. The house is full with furniture, objects of use and decoration that personalize it and give it (and the people live in it) a unique image. In his book ‘dell’abitare’, Maurizio Vitta writes [v] : “A house narrate the resident, it draws its figure, it represents the resident in front of others and for others in the extent to which it is put into shape by those who live it."
The house and the home are of great importance to the modern western society. The separation from the outside, from the public sphere is probably what makes it so important. This is also relatively new. In many cultures, still the house is not a limit of proximity. People in Mongolia, for example will open the door of a tent any time they want just to look inside and see who is in there. The living tent has is by no means a separation. It is a shelter from the elements but not a barrier for other people. In the same way, the Mongolian tents are big living spaces that include all activities of everyday life. Only few families have their kitchen separated from the rest of the house. Private activities, like sexual relationships are actually happening outside the tent in the privacy of the dark night.
So, the house is a lot about balancing private and public space. in the next part i will talk about this balance and how is it different in different societies.
[i] HOUSING POLICY IN THE EU MEMBER STATES: Directorate General for Research, Working Document, Social Affairs Series. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/workingpapers/soci/w14/text1_en.htm retrieved 06.03.2013
[ii] Worsley, Lucy. History of the Home. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/middle_ages/history_of_home.shtml retrieved 06.03.2013
[iii] Perec, G. (1999) Species of Spaces and Other Pieces. Trans. John Sturrock. London: Penguin Books
[iv] Jusczyk, Tad. Consider the corridor: lessons from architectural history. http://inside.shepleybulfinch.com/2011/02/consider-the-corridor-lessons-from-architectural-history/ retrieved 06.03.2012
[v] VITTA, M. (2008) Dell’abitare. Corpi spazi oggetti immagini, Einaudi, Torino.
Ieri è stata una bella giornata di sole. Abbiamo deciso così di andare ad incontrare alcuni amici che vivono a trenno e fare un pic-nic al bosco in città. Non abitiamo lontani dal bosco in città, ma andarci con i mezzi è complicato e lungo, ci avremo messo circa un’ora. Dunque abbiamo deciso di prenotare e usare la macchina elettrica del condominio. Sì, perchè in scarsellini abbiamo anche le macchine in condivisione! il nostro car-sharing di condominio fa parte del progetto GreenMove.
Green Move (GM) è un progetto di mobilità sostenibile sviluppato dal Politecnico di Milano e finanziato da Regione Lombardia, con l’obiettivo di ideare e sperimentare un nuovo sistema di car sharing con veicoli elettrici per ll’area di Milano.
Green Move punta a innovare la concezione dei servizi di sharing esistenti, attraverso una logica dinamica e aperta, basata su standardizzazione, interoperabilità, multi-business. GM supera infatti la concezione dei servizi a unico gestore, permettendo l’ingresso di vari operatori di car-sharing e di flotte aziendali, fino al singolo utente che desideri condividere la propria auto (peer-to-peer social vehicle sharing). Il tutto supportato da un’architettura tecnologia che permette a qualsiasi veicolo di integrarsi nell’offerta Green Move.
I risultati che il Politecnico si propone di ottenere riguardano sia gli aspetti tecnologici (in particolare l’equipaggiamento del veicolo e il sistema di prenotazione e gestione), che quelli economici (la sostenibilità finanziaria del car sharing), che quelli di innovazione sociale (per esempio l’individuazione di contesti e gruppi significativi di utenti e dei relativi servizi). Inoltre è prevista una sperimentazione per analizzare concretamente le esigenze e i servizi di un servizio di car sharing “dedicato”.
Le macchine presenti nel condominio fanno parte della sperimentazione di uno dei possibili scenari d’uso: l’auto di condominio. Le macchine sono posizionate nei box. Si prenotano al telefono o on-line. si paga solo per l’utilizzo.
La nostra esperienza di uso è stata molto positiva. Noi non possiediamo la macchina e non vorremmo averla. così, possiamo usarla solo quando serve e non preoccuparci dell’assicurazione, manutenzione e tutte quelle cose legate all’auto.
Poi, ci piace che sia elettrica. consuma poco ed è molto silenzionosa. Qualcuno dei vicini è riuscito addirittura a non consumare. così ha scritto sul nostro sito: “Oggi ho utilizzato l'auto elettrica per recarmi in quel di Desio, al ritorno ho sperimentato come non consumare energia, ma incrementare l'autonomia disponibile, partito da Desio con 92km di autonomia residua, l'ho parcheggiata nel box che segnava 117km. Semplice, quando la macchina e "lanciata", si decelera cercando di tenere la lancetta nella zona blu (charge), bastano pochissimi secondi x volta e vedrete l'indicatore di autonomia incrementarsi.“ Con un po’ di attenzione in più ai pedoni e ciclisti che attraversano la macchina senza guardare, si guida proprio bene. Speriamo che la sperimentazione vada a buon fine e che magari possa essere l’inizio di un servizio permanente per il nostro e altri condomini.
Vi siete mai chiesti perchè le persone desiderano vivere in cohousing?
Ecco qualche risposta dai Vicini per Casa