In big, ‘globalised’ cities, there has been a growing culture of the individual; whether semi-permanent or transient types including long term tourists and working travellers. It has been argued and seems apparent that emotional care and connection is an almost universal human need. The family home once provided both a group of care givers as well as space and rituals providing emotional sustenance. The shrinking of living space and the isolation of individuals in the city has seen the disappearance of many of these former spaces of emotional care. This lack of care has unleashed a search for a sense of home in the city.
Retailers have tapped into this search for sustenance. Companies like Starbucks and Citizen-M for example, have employed architects and psychologists to create familiarity settings that choreograph colour, furniture, spatial arrangements and home like items along with smiling staff who call you by name to fill that empty space inside with caramel spice. Their tactics provide what feels like caring but is actually a dependency-building-relationship with profit as the bottom line.
The project hijacks these tactics to design a new global hotel chain that departs from the motivation to provide spaces that might stimulate genuine experiences of care, rather than care-by-creating-addictions-for-profit. The project explores the possibility for a new kind of family and home and whether architecture has the power to help invent it.
Jessica Hindradjaja is trained in the Architectural Association School, London, UK. Currently pursuing further architectural education and training, she is in the pursuit of continuously remoulding her own edit of architecture.
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