As people in the US started working from home last spring due to the impacts and restrictions of COVID-19, there were endless articles about how to set up a workspace in your home, how to create different areas for different activities, and more generally how to adjust to having all aspects of your work-life and your home- or family-life overlap. This state of affairs was in fact new for many in the US, and other countries as well, as many work-cultures previously functioned with the assumption of total separation of activities, or at least total focus on work-related activities whenever one is “on the clock”.
And yet, there is a long history of living space overlapping with many different kinds of work from agriculture, to childcare, to commerce. Take a look at the pictures from around the world below and see what comes to mind as ways in which physical spaces can support functional co-existence of multiple activities. While most of these images are from the exterior of buildings, once can infer flows of people and activities within.
How are activities zoned within a space? How are they connected? Where do they overlap? How are these arrangements complementary? What challenges do they present?
Share your ideas, thoughts, and perceptions below. We’d love to hear from you!