This follows the earlier post on this set of essays, which also features 'A sketchbook for the city to come: the popup as R&D', for AD, and 'Urban Parasites, Data-Driven Urbanism, and the Case for Architecture' for A+U. This one first published as:
- 'The Commodification of Everything', in SQM: The Quantified Home', Space Caviar (ed.), Lars Muller Publishers (2014) (More at Space Caviar)
Finally, Space Caviar, the Genoese design research collective headed by long-time collaborator Joseph Grima, Tamar Shafar and Andrea Bagnato (building into a very interesting wider group, incl. SImone Niquille) asked me to write a piece for a Lars Muller-published collection about domestic space, aka the home.
This is the book, 'SQM: The Quantified Home':
"The way we live is rapidly changing under pressure from multiple forces—financial, environmental, technological, geopolitical. What we used to call home may not even exist anymore, having transmuted into a financial commodity measured in square meters, or sqm. Yet, domesticity ceased long ago to be central in the architectural agenda; this project aims to launch a new discussion on the present and the future of the home. 'SQM: The Quantified Home', produced for the 2014 Biennale Interieur, charts the scale of this change using data, fiction, and a critical selection of homes and their interiors—from Osama bin Laden’s compound to apartment living in the age of Airbnb."
My piece addressed the latter few words there, and sat alongside others by the likes of Aristide Antonas, Keller Easterling, Sam Jacob, Alexandra Lange, Justin McGuirk, Joanne McNeil, Alessandro Mendini, Bruce Sterling et al. Do pick it up—it's a wonderful collection.
Also, huge congratulations to Studio Folder (good friends Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual) for winning Gold in the European Design Awards for their design for 'SQM'. It's a beautiful, beautiful bit of editorial design, inside and out.
My working title for this was ‘Fractal domestic’—you'll see why if you read on—but when published it became ‘The commodification of everything’, which is also about right, exploring the different understanding of domestic environment that Airbnb prompts. As usual, there are positive implications of this to flush out, as well as negative ones.