Department of Architecture
Exploring the architectural and urban implications of the sharing economy.
The Sharing Economy represents a paradigm shift for the way we live, how we spend our time, what we want or need to own, where we work and what we do, and how much space we require.
Emerging digital economies such as the Sharing Economy are having tangible impacts on the way we interact with, organise, and design space, and are disrupting the social dynamics of cities around the world. While the Sharing Economy has received much media attention in recent years, and there is increasing scholarship in fields like economics, urban geography and social science, to date there has been little exploration of the impacts of the Sharing Economy on architecture and urban design.
This thesis investigates the impacts of the Sharing Economy on the existing fabric of cities, uncovers new and emerging typologies, and speculates on ways in which new digital infrastructures might be instrumentalised by design professionals to positive effect.
Through a series of critical spatial and speculative design projects, this research asks: how can architects respond to the challenges and opportunities that the sharing economy presents for architecture and the city?
Offering up a series of lessons that can be leveraged for future architectural practice, and a set of tactics for resisting the exploitation of the Sharing Economy and its resulting spatial inequity, the research seeks demonstrate ways in which designers, architects, planners and governments can develop ethical spatial and urban responses within and against Platform Capitalism.