At a recent industry event I attended with my colleague and coliving friend Matt Lesniak, we discussed standards and criteria for coliving products and just like that, the term ‘faux-living’ arose and was born!
What is ‘faux-living’ (pronounced ‘fo-living’), you might ask?
From the French word ‘faux’ meaning ‘fake’ ‘forged’ ‘false’ or ‘artificial’, it is a play on words to describe the unfortunately all too common ‘coliving washing’ that we have identified over the years. This ‘coliving washing’ to us is any residential living project that dubs itself coliving without offering many of the essential elements of the coliving offer, precisely convenience, community, sustainability and wellbeing. Therefore ‘faux-living’ can be defined as the following:
A form of residential living that is branded and marketed using the term coliving but lacks important aspects of the coliving offer.
Matt (being also French) dropped the term and it took off during the call and in our WhatsApp coliving groups. Without pointing any fingers or naming any names, we think that identifying ‘faux-living’ projects is important and that coliving quality control is much in need!
As Matt and I are involved in many different coliving organisations and initiatives (i.e. Co-Liv, Coliving Ventures and Conscious Coliving), we take this ‘faux-living’ issue quite seriously and work our hardest to support the creation of authentic coliving communities.
For example, this is why Co-Liv and its partners aim to help set the standard when it comes to supporting the development of innovative, impactful and quality shared living solutions.
Co-Liv is currently working on an industry-wide Accreditation Scheme for coliving professionals to aspire from. Co-Liv is also hosting a ‘Community Mastermind’ to define what community means in coliving and is building a ‘Tech Community’ to do the same for coliving technology service providers. Co-Liv has also developed an Onboarding Program to support industry players connect, exchange and collaborate with other professionals and innovators.
Matt and his colleagues at Conscious Coliving together with Gui Perdrix have recently released The Community Facilitation Handbook, a fantastic work on what the role of the community facilitator is in coliving and how best to foster authentic communities.
The list of industry players supporting the evolution of the coliving model is excitingly getting larger and larger and we aim to support as many of them as possible.
For a better understanding of what is coliving and what ‘faux-living’ is not, you can also refer to some of the resources, initiatives and discussions below:
- What is shared living? by Co-Liv
- Coliving Resources by Co-Liv
- What is coliving? A universal definition by Art of Co
- What is coliving? by Conscious Coliving
- Coliving Ecosystem Report by Conscious Coliving and Salto Systems
- An insightful LinkedIn debate started by Daniel Beck about what is not coliving and a similar conversation here.
- The upcoming Art of Coliving book by Gui Perdrix
These are only some of the resources that help you understand how we define coliving and the standards industry is developing to define how coliving communities are designed, developed and facilitated.
We understand that the term coliving is hard to define and the industry still does not have an agreed-upon definition or list of standards for this ever-evolving product. Therefore labelling spaces as ‘faux-living’ versus ‘coliving’ may sound arrogant or even naive. However, we do believe that we are equipped with enough resources and insights within the coliving industry to make this statement and dub the term ‘faux-living.’
We aim to support coliving professionals to create thriving and authentic coliving communities and not bash any ‘faux-living’ projects.
Should you spot any ‘faux-living’ projects and wish to point them out, please feel free to do so privately to Matt and me or fill out this form here. We’d love to reach out, support them on their way to developing flourishing coliving projects and invite them into our ever-growing coliving ecosystem!
Cate and Matt, on behalf of the coliving ecosystem at large
P.S. — Feeel free to visit the faux-living manifesto page here.