Posts tagged with "Travel"

Airbnb’s Samara group to design and construct homes for communal living

December 3, 2018

Airbnb has already changed the way people travel. Now, the eight-year-old company is aiming to bring the peer-to-peer economy to housing, with the introduction of Backyard—described on a new website as “an initiative to protype new ways homes can be built and shared, guided by an ambition to realize more humanistic, future-oriented, and waste-conscious design.”

Airbnb’s design studio, Samara, announced the project on November 28, CNBC reports. The Backyard initiative will “investigate how building could utilize sophisticated manufacturing techniques, smart-home technologies, and vast insight from the Airbnb community to thoughtfully respond to changing owner or occupant needs over time.”

The goal: To test prototypes Backyard units as soon as the fall of 2019.

“We began with a simple question: What does a home that is designed and built for sharing actually look and feel like?” Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia—who alo serves as the leader of the design and innovation studio Samara—said in a statement about Backyard. “The answer is not simple at all.

“Other questions quickly emerged,” said Gebbia. “Can a home respond to the needs of many inhabitants over a long period of time? Can it support and reflect the tremendous diversity of human experience? Can it keep up with the rate at which the world changes? Can we accomplish this without filling landfills with needless waste?

“It’s a tall order.”

While there are no details about what the homes might look like or how much they will cost, Gebbia told Fast Company that Backyard isn’t just about a house, it’s an “initiative to rethink the home.”

“We helped people activate underutilized space—from a spare bedroom or treehouse to your apartment while you’re away—and built a community that connected people around the world,” Gebbia said. “With Backyard, we’re using the same lens through which Airbnb was envisioned—the potential of space—and applying it more broadly to architecture and construction.”

As The Washington Post points out, the project “could augment Airbnb’s home-rental marketplace, adding real estate development to its portfolio, as cities continue to limit the company’s short-term rentals.” Cities from New York to Washington, D.C., and Boston are passing regulations that have the effect of restricting Airbnb offerings.

Airbnb management started the initiative by surveying the construction industry for practical solutions—but quickly found that it would be “necessary to start from a blank slate.”

“If we’re truly going to reimagine the design of homes,” Gebbia remarked, “ we have to be holistic. We can’t approach Backyard solely from the point of view of design, architecture, urbanism, civic ordinance, sustainable materiality, or manufacturing. We have to grapple with the whole of it.”

He said, “For us, this goes beyond a business opportunity. It’s a social responsibility. The way buildings are made is outdated and generates a tremendous amount of waste. In order to meet the demands of the future, whether it be climate displacement or rural-urban migration, the home needs to evolve, to think forward.”

It’s a tall order—and, says CNBC, Airbnb is not the only company expanding into residential real estate and shared living space: In 2016, collaborative workspace startup WeWork launched WeLive— which currently has two apartment locations (one in New York City and the other in D.C.). Both have dorm-like living spaces and communal social spaces.

Research contact: @sarahelizberger

Why U.S. seniors aren’t knocking off work

April 6, 2018

Today, many would-be retirees in the age 65-plus demographic are not knocking off work; they are just getting down to business.

Indeed, a FlexJobs  survey of over 2,000 older U.S. professionals conducted last August found that fully 70% need to work to pay for basic necessities—and nearly 60% want to work because they enjoy it

They plan to continue to work—at least on a part-time basis—if they can find the right position.

Based on the survey results, among the top reasons why professionals over 50 work are:

  • To pay for necessities, including housing and food (70%);
  • Because they enjoy being productive (59%);
  • To save for retirement (59%);
  • To save for travel (47%);
  • To pay off debt (46%);
  • To pay for luxury items (36%);
  • To have a professional impact on the world (30%);
  • Because they are passionate about success in their careers (26%); and
  • To contribute to charity (24%).

Then there are the psychological benefits. For seniors continuing to work at least part-time, employment can ease the sometimes harsh transition into retirement by sidestepping an abrupt end to the career they may have built up over much of their lifetimes, FlexJobs’ Senior Career Specialist Brie Reynolds told CNBC.

In fact, 67% of U.S. workers said they’d prefer a “flexible transition” into retirement, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found in December 2017.

“Rather than committing the time and energy towards a full-time traditional job, retirees are looking for something more flexible, perhaps with part-time hours, flexible scheduling and the ability to work from home,” Reynolds said.

And by continuing to work, Transamerica found, seniors can avoid their worst fears: “Outliving my savings and investments” (52%), “Social Security will be reduced or cease to exist in the future” (48%), “declining health that requires long-term care” (44%), “Not being able to meet the basic financial needs of my family” (42%), “Lack of access to adequate and affordable healthcare” (38%), and “Cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease” (35%).

Approximately one in five workers cites other fears including “Finding meaningful ways to spend time and stay involved” (21%), “Feeling isolated and alone” (20%), and “Being laid off – not being able to retire on my own terms” (18%).

Research contact: @flexjobs