Micro-living is becoming an increasingly normalised, and even celebrated form of housing across both public and private sectors. This includes both positively branded forms of microliving such as the London based co-living company “The Collective”, and forms of shrinking living space understood as more sinister, such as the “coffin cubicles” phenomenon in Hong Kong.
We have identified micro-living as an increasingly prolific, yet under-theorised, development in housing landscapes across a wide range of contexts and are looking to develop a grant exploring this growing global phenomena.
The central purpose of the day was to bring together scholars across multiple disciplines who are working on, or interested in, micro-living. Participants were asked to reflect on the following themes around micro-living:
- The emergence of micro-living and its socio-economic/political contexts
- The lineages of micro-living (e.g. communal housing, eco-homes)
- The links between micro-living and precarious labour (including co-working)
- Micro-living and the stunted life-worlds of millennials
- Micro-living’s aesthetics and the roles of social media in branding and promoting micro-living
- Differences and comparisons between micro-living presented as aspirational and more sinister shrinking housing spaces
Participants were invited to bring to the workshop either examples of micro-living that they were already working on, or case studies they were interested in discussing.
Aims of the workshop were to:
- Identify global themes and case studies related to micro-living
- Identify relevant/interested scholars
- Identify potential research frameworks, methods and impacts
- Produce an initial grant outline
- Develop action plan and timeframe for preparing grant proposal
The workshop was fundamental in helping Ella and Mel, along with Tim, to develop collaborations and design now-funded research projects, including Tiny Homes: Big Promises, The Growing Trend of Living Small, and Global Shrinking Domesticities.