Some recent research on developing trends for office design and how they affect the people who work in them led to an Greg Ferenstein’s insightful short thesis The History of Privacy covering the last few thousand years of privacy. What becomes apparent is that privacy is something that we have expected to take for granted, but that’s a relatively modern way of life, and that we seem to be headed back to a way of living that is more communal.
It’s not without downside though. Privacy is a given for most people in the West, and it won’t be given up lightly. On a practical level, workplaces have been moving away from the post-war open plan offices, back to cellular working and studies show an increase in personal and overall business productivity as a result.
With the rise of the internet is changing the attitudes of many Millennials. Often prompted by scarcity of space and the associated high rents people are turning to co-working space, and now even to co-living. The increased numbers of students going away to university has created a wide culture of living together in shared accommodation.
With the increasing housing market failure primarily brought about by the political nature of the planning system perhaps it’s only a matter of time before we see co-living being an ordinary occurance from university onward.