Don’t DIY, Do It Together
DON’T DIY, DO IT TOGETHER
We believe collective housing is the future for our densely populated, expensive and individually oriented cities. The concept of collective housing has proven it works. However, this is often an inefficient process and takes much effort from both the future inhabitants as the professionals involved.
We think collective housing should go hand in hand with contemporary developments and therefore should be combined with the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mentality and the (free) use of knowledge and expertise from trained professionals.
It is foreseeable that in the future people will be more and more able to build and design their own homes. On the IKEA website you can design your own kitchen and with the introduction of the Wikihouse you can now create your own house. These developments make it possible for projects to be built a lot faster and without the need for professionals.
One of the real downsides though of people developing their own habitats, is that it leads to a lack of quality control in construction, safety and design. Professionals don’t exist to make projects more expensive, they exist to make projects better, and improving them by every step they take. Another disadvantage is that the DIY culture focusses mostly on the individual who has to finance and create everything by himself, leading to higher costs and inefficient planning.
We think people should collaborate together within the realm of DIY architecture with the help of trained professionals. Instead of open-source we would rather think of our vision as open-minded, because it does not focus on the individual creating everything by himself, it focuses on the common good, the collaboration between people with professionals, creating sustainable and affordable habitats.
Our concept will become a platform for creating sustainable homes for groups of people who are willing to share spaces, enjoy social interaction with their neighbours and “Do It Together” (DIT) through guidance by professionals. The DIT platform is based on the ideals of collective housing and is created upon the modern principles of open-source architecture.
The ideal test would be a group of 4-6 couples with shared interests in their views of housing and sharing spaces. A developer and/or architect is necessary to search for the right location (in the case of having no location available yet) and the architect provides the main framework (the core/concept/structure of the building suitable for the specified location). The inhabitants can work within this framework using tools set up by professionals. These tools can be both physical and descriptive, for example: On the one hand people can share real tools and resources to build themselves and on the other hand people can use knowledge from architects who provide the basics to start designing floor plans, public spaces, private spaces, communal gardens, shared kitchens, parking spaces, basically anything that is of importance to the occupant’s comfort, safety and budget. By an open-source platform they can easily communicate with each other, share information and adapt to each other’s needs and design proposals. This platform will always be flexible and able to adapt to future developments because of the pre-designed framework in which elements can be placed and re-shuffled.
You could see this idea as an IKEA building package in which all the tools, construction elements and the manual are there, but the outcome is completely unpredictable. This is because it depends on the users what to do with the substances of this package. In this case the manual gives guidance but does not imply a result. It is also not dependent only on an individual, because most of the work will be done in groups and the process will be guided by the same professionals who provide the basic tool set.
This “package” could take shape in an app or online platform in which the test group can design themselves and adapt to changes made by others.
The amount of hours that the professionals needs to spend on each project is reduced significantly, since the inhabitants will mostly work themselves with basic standards. This will have a large impact on cost reduction for a complete project. Furthermore, the advantages of collective housing lead to great cost reduction in construction, security, design, sustainability and many more factors, since the bare necessities of a new building can all be shared.
With collective housing people can create shared spaces which they would not be able to afford by themselves. Think of a swimming pool, movie theatre, a small coffee bar or a large roof terrace. The DIT platform lets people give shape to these spaces by themselves in guidance of, by example, an architect or developer. They can plan projects, design spaces or construct elements by themselves, which avoids long, expensive and often endless meetings with professionals. By using a special app and computer software they can also share ideas quickly and easily adapt to each other’s needs. This will give people guidance by using the basic knowledge and expertise of a professional without having to consult with them directly.