Airbnb Participates in House Vision, Announces Urban Planning Initiatives

The world’s largest home-sharing community wants to revive dying towns.

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Design
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Airbnb has been invited to participate in House Vision — an exhibition curated by Japanese designer Kenya Hara to bring together renowned names in design and architecture to present ideas about the future of the home. This marks the first time that a western company has been invited to showcase. For the event, the world’s biggest home-sharing platform created the “Yoshino-Sugi Cedar House” in conjunction with Tokyo-based architect Go Hasegawa. The home focuses on the idea of building a community home in the town of Yoshino, and its entire construction has involved the community around it. Following House Vision, the stunning home will be relocated to a riverside location, and will be registered on Airbnb for visitors. The home will be maintained by the village, and proceeds earned from the guests will be used towards the cultural legacy of the area and its future.

This project was inspired by a woman in the city of Tsuyama in Okayama prefecture, who signed up as an Airbnb host. Her neighbors didn’t understand why anyone would come visit the rural town, but the listing attracted so many visitors that the host began enlisting her neighbors as hiking guides, translators and tour guides. This stimulated tourism in a town that was comprised of largely aging citizens. This caused Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia to start Samara, a new division tasked with inventing new futures for the company. “Yoshino-Sugi Cedar House” will be the first of its kind to act as a community hub slash Airbnb residence. If this experiment goes well, then Airbnb will be applying this idea to other cities and towns that may need a little boost.

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Source
Co Design
Photographer
Edward Caruso

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