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We don’t need megacities; we need an “Internet of Spaces”

Urban Nomads

But how does that lead us to a city for everyone? An example: some time ago, the artists group “Tinyhouse University” staged a village with 13 huts in an unused courtyard in front of the Berlin Bauhaus Archive Museum. I call such temporary villages Tiny House Villages – a mixture of festival, campus, and marketplace. People slept in five of these houses, some only for a few days, others for half a year. You can’t call it “inhabiting”; it’s really living. Or as I describe it, they have produced “neighborhood”. They have “neighborized”.

 

This also corresponds to the Homo economicus of today: money and career, peace and nature are no longer enough for them. They seek perfect harmony with the flow of the city. To be optimally connected, travel, eat well, run marathons or build a solar cooker: in the past this was called a sabbatical, or work and travel. Today it is called Urban Nomadism.

Van Bo Le-Mentzel

In the places where these nomads spend the night, they do not want anonymous hotel beds or boring domiciles on the outskirts of the city. Even tourists want everything but other tourists. They, too, want to be neighbors.

 

The digital bohemian has had enough of coworking spaces, chic cafés and overpriced co-living communities: nevertheless, they want maximum freedom and minimum fixed costs. However, such a lifestyle is not compatible with a 40-hour job. Only someone who sacrifices little time for gainful employment and does not need a lot of money can afford this.

 

Urban nomadism also abhors pure housing estates such as student dormitories or senior residences. There are many neighbors there, but no one who knows how to “neighborize”. That’s why tiny houses are not pure living spaces. The Tinyhouse University huts, for example, are split level: private above, public below. The Tiny House Design School hosted two refugees upstairs on top of the sleeping mattress and set up an exhibition below. And a programmer from Palestine slept upstairs in the New Work Studio while workshops were held downstairs. Neighbors always knew they were welcome because there was room for exchange.