We talk about this with … Luca Molinari

SHARING – New ways of living

Home automation, the sharing city, co-housing, eco-bonuses and apartment buildings are all centre stage at MADE expo


The Fair’s busy programme features the return of events that have attracted thousands of industry professionals to the Fair. One such event is BuildSMART, a platform of conferences, meetings, workshops, prototypes and interactive laboratory sessions that offers in-depth investigations of technical, scientific and regulatory issues spanning material and technological solutions for designing, renewing and building comfortable, secure and sustainable buildings. One of the headline events focuses on communities, user conduct and consequently apartment buildings, in a journey that takes in leading-edge approaches, market players, protocols, and incentive schemes. All institutional and economic players involved in the “home-related” space (the institutions, trade associations, environmental associations, professional associations, apartment block, administrators, owners’ associations, consumer associations, etc.) have a highly specific role to play.

 

What shape will our homes take on in the age of the sharing economy?

Architects began designing homes in the modern age after the birth of the need for privacy. This has been the case since the days of Italy’s economic boom, resulting in a need to re-purpose construction through the reuse of existing assets. Delving into the topic of homes today means continuing to look into the possible future we may live in.

The MADE Expo Outlook asked Luca Molinari – architecture critic and historian, and author of an essay (“Le case che siamo”, Nottetempo edizioni) that ranges from the symbolic home in fairytales (the little houses in the Three Little Pigs) to flagship architecture (Mies van der Rohe’s transparent house) – to hear his vision, including the “anti-home” that completely overturns the concept of public and private.

Mr Molinari, what do we mean today by the word “home”?

“The is one of the fundamentals of public and private life. It remains to this day the symbol of social security: more than 70% of Italians own a property. However, in the age of the sharing economy, it the home is changing ‘form’. The idea of intimacy has radically altered, in part as a result of the digital world and social networks, which have transformed the idea of inside and outside and of near and far to create a plethora of temporary residences. Increasingly, the home is becoming a place of encounter and exchange, somewhere that is far more open and far more social.”

 

How have phenomena like Ikea or Airbnb changed our idea of the home?

“The idea of the home has indeed changed over the last two generations. Today, clients can not only afford to have things that come closer to their tastes, they can build them too. To some extent, we have all become ‘makers’. We are living in a profoundly horizontal world: it is up to us to build new demand. Today, the home is a universal place from which we can rethink ourselves and the world in which we live; a veritable laboratory for understanding and changing the world. When a landing is no longer a closed place but has a number of open doors, that landing becomes an open space for connection between different homes; it becomes a system.”

 

Sharing and co-housing have become solid market trends: what effects are they having at an architectural level?

“Two opposing – or perhaps complementary – attitudes are evident today: the home as a fixed identity, and the “rootless” nomadic home. Today, the home is one of the universal places from which we set off to rethink ourselves, and to rethink the homes that we actually are ourselves. Changes in the concept of privacy are leading to incredibly interesting experiments with intermediate spaces, something that is most evident in northern Europe, for example in Holland, where many such situations are being redesigned. These are all signs of a change that is taking place, in which a new market is coming into being – one that is set to undergo a boom in coming years.”