Personalisation In Rental Spaces Is The Future
Architecture + Design|October - November 2020
In India, home ownership among the urban middle class appears to be low at present. The reason is multi-fold, with high interest rates and property prices among others acting as major disincentives for people looking to buy homes. Today, about 30% of urban Indians live in rental housing, as per a 2019 Knight Frank report.
Ar Rahat Varma

What is intriguing is that our popular typologies have not addressed designing for tenant centric housing. Even while work opportunities have brought the younger generations to Tier 1 cities over the years, the cities themselves have not been allowed to accommodate this migrant diaspora.

As architects, we have not been able to break through the existing proponent systems to design successfully for dynamic tenure-based housing models.

While quite a few issues have been spotted in this typology of residential projects, the most daunting is the widespread acceptance of ‘renting’ as a ‘revenue generation mechanism’ for middle- and high-income families. This could easily be the reason that most renters feel disconnected to their homes, which in turn results in the failure of this model.

The perception of the young renter about building comfort is significantly different from other communities and their interpretation of the built environment, and thus, their ways of engagement with it are unique. To understand how they alter the built environment to satisfy their demands, one needs to critically evaluate interpretations of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs by this generational community. Its preliminary go through suggests that these young professionals view the Maslow’s pyramid as a concentric circle, indicating their will to achieve all parameters at once. It is important that a practitioner of the design and built community understand this physiology of the tenant, so that personalised homes can be planned even for shorter tenure stays and the liveability index is improved for this particular cohort of our population.

Understanding and rationalisation of this anomaly in the housing landscape for personalisation of the living space has been taken up by both young architectural firms and creative professionals. We look at a few works to deconstruct the values that define a modern take on rental housing.

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