In the past exhibits, WHAT’S IN demonstrated how a well-designed 300 square foot apartment can be very livable through a full-scale mockup; we also investigated transit-oriented neighborhoods in Boston, and revealed their high potential for future compact living developments. The most recent exhibit, called “Urban Living Lab”, showcased new technologies in robotic architecture and mobile apps to aid living in a small space. “Urban Living Lab” also made the case for compact living as a viable solution to affordable urban housing.
In order to balance the overall experience in a compact living setting, more design thoughts need to be given to shared social spaces. As housing demand in cities like Boston increase in future years, more high-density development will take place. As these projects rapidly take shape in our city skylines, we have to consider a few things, 1) the ability of our designs to truly create a sense of place, and contribute to positive shared living experiences 2) the affordability and feasibility of these shared spaces for our typical urban dwellers. 3) the programming of these shared spaces to build stronger communities overtime.
In this exhibit, we took cues from sociological theories and historical examples, and examined many successful open spaces in non-housing settings. We then studies many highly-regarded housing projects and how they achieved at building a strong living communities. We hope to start a dialog among all who desire affordable urban living, and influence other designers, developers and policy makers to create more Meaningful Social Spaces in this emerging Urban Living Environment