The advance of distributed computing research in the United States during the 1990s laid the groundwork for the emergence of a new peer-to-peer information exchange culture. Fusing these technological developments with one of the steepest increases of house prices in the period 1990-2008 resulted in a new practice of subletting we know today as the 'sharing economy'. Platforms became particularly popular for listing surplus home space, initially in America after the burst of the housing bubble in 2008, and later worldwide.
These novel exchange channels soon proved to have devastating consequences on housing landscapes in metropoles around the world. Examples such as Airbnb are still exacerbating existing crises, turning housing stock into hospitality infrastructure, and fuelling gentrification by facilitating the inflow of external capital. The likelihood that these issues would only escalate with time, especially in the face of pressing global challenges such as population growth and climate-driven shifts, calls for an even stronger urgency to make new forms of co-habitation work.
Although sharing platforms today seem to be problematic, the research explores whether they could serve as the foundation for other 'alter-sharing' practices. The work will identify such cases by introducing the conceptual framework of the commons as autonomous, resilient grassroots sharing networks. By doing so it will both construct a genealogy of stranger-shared housing and explore contemporary sharing accounts in the search for 'alter-sharing'.
School of Architecture
Architecture Research, 2018–
Ioana is an architect and a researcher. Her thesis explores established sharing economy practices and their influence on the domestic interior.
- Mag Arch, Studio Greg Lynn, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, 2014