San Francisco

San Francisco

At Home Together


In recent years, communal living in San Francisco has gained widespread attention for its potential to address the affordability crisis in this highly desirable geography. While media accounts of this domestic typology focus on its economic efficiency, this “necessity-oriented” explanation misses the breadth of motivations and manifestations of intentional communities—from socio-political values to professional networking and life-style affinities. Against the backdrop of well-known communes of the 1960s and 70s, At Home Together analyzes the social and spatial typologies of contemporary co-living conditions, revealing how these domestic typologies leverage their hold on scarce urban space while shaping broader communities. At Home Together investigates the intentions and institutions of contemporary collective living experiments in San Francisco. Analyzing these domestic spaces through their spatial and social types as well as political ideology, it identifies inherent patterns within the shifting conceptions of the public and private spheres. Against the backdrop of well-known communes of the 1960s and 70s, ten contemporary case studies of communal living and five projective design proposals are presented. Framing the tension between the individual and the collective, At Home Together reveals the challenging negotiation between urban hardware and soft forms of re-appropriation.