Pneu-Share is a speculative project that considers our modern lives, rife with consumerist tendencies, against the inevitable reality of housing shortages due to climate migration. People will be displaced and will have to find a new place for themselves and their stuff.
Collectively, we all have too much stuff. Of the things we all have, there are a lot of ubiquitous goods that are rarely being used at the same time. This project seeks to challenge conventional modes of domesticity, particularly as it relates to our stuff and storage. If our homes are boxes to store our stuff, Pneu-Share takes advantage of the overabundance of stuff to create a "watering hole" of goods distributed by pneumatic tubes. Ownership is outsourced, goods are shared with the collective, and the role of the house is deprioritized in our lives.
There are two fundamental pieces to the Pneu-Share system:
Upon entering Pneu-Share, people are able to donate a portion of or all of their stuff. Depending on this initial contribution, tenants will receive a personal score that impacts how many things they can borrow from the Pneu-Share system at any given time. This score acts like a credit score in that it will fluctuate based on someone’s activity and participation with the system. The initial scoring is based on a proportion of the property you come in with. If you do not have much coming in but donate all your stuff, you’ll get a good score. If you come in with a lot of stuff but only donate a few select items your starting score will be poor.
There are four sizes of housing units and four housing tiers: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. These tiers are determined by how many people are living in a particular unit. Pneu-Share incentivizes dense communal lifestyles. Higher tiers of density will often require some creative solutions, but the reward of higher tiers is being able to hold on to the stuff you check out for longer periods of time. For example: If you are in a platinum tier unit and you request a coffee maker you’ll get to hold onto it for a lot longer than someone in a bronze unit requesting it because the number of people that one coffee maker can accommodate at the same time is higher.
Below are a few examples of lifestyles, units, and tiers at play:
Small Unit / 2 People / Bronze Tier
This unit is a couple who wanted to test out the pneu-share system without committing to living with a bunch of people just yet. They use the small unit's bisecting layout to draw a distinction between their private and more collective lives, with minimal personalized infill.
Though they do benefit from unrestricted access to the communal storage, because of their tier they may not be able to hold on to their requests as long as they'd like, and their requests are also deprioritized compared to higher tiers. That's okay! They can always group up with other tenants to raise their tier.
Medium Unit / 8 People / Silver Tier
In this unit live a group of climate migrant families from the area formerly known as Florida! The built-in fixtures divide the unit in half asymmetrically, leaving more room near the unit's window wall. In that larger space they've placed most of the beds in a shared sleeping space, with a more private bedroom in the smaller space on the opposite side of the unit. Closer to the lift is a combined kitchen, dining, and general entertainment space.
The tenants used their own walls to subdivide spaces even further to accommodate everyone together!
Large Unit / 16 People / Gold Tier
Within this unit are groups of people who have dedicated their private home lives to the regular consumption of media, be it TV, video games, etc. The tenants took full advantage of the available infill walls to subdivide the space into numerous smaller rooms - each of which is equipped with a fold-out sofa bed and a screen.
While this fascinating way of life might not suit everyone, the folks living here found enough like-minded individuals and couples to make this work - all while achieving Pneu-share's second highest tier!
Extra-Large Unit / 32 People / Platinum Tier
This unit is actually a collection of Pneu-Share employees who have come together under a single roof in order to achieve the coveted platinum tier! These workers take advantage of their mismatching work schedules to share beds and utilities on a pre-determined rotation. This rigorous structure allows the them to allocate more of the unit's space for communal gathering space rather than just bedrooms.
As convenient as the platinum-tier benefits are, it will always necessitate creative solutions to make the density work.
Stems are grouped together in clusters of four, forming communes. Stems within a commune vary in elevation, with one tall stem, two middle stems, and one lower stem. These shifts in elevation help inform larger-scale programming. Communes are grouped in fours as well, forming districts. Though districts themselves are tightly packed, there's room between each district that opens up every Pneu-share community with amenities like parks, public transportation hubs, and commercial plazas.
At intersections where the commune stems are at their highest, we have placed additional landscaping and park spaces. At intersections where the commune stems are at their lowest, we created commercial plazas. Amenities such as retail, theaters, arcades, and other entertainment-oriented programs can be found at the base of the lowest-sitting communes.
Beneath every commune is space allocated to communal storage. This storage below every commune gets smarter over time, adapting its storage to the frequent requests and anticipated desires of its inhabitants. Pneu-Share’s extensive tracking of its people informs the storage.
Stuff rises from communal storage through a series of diverters that direct the capsule to your stem. Below all units on a stem is a ring of pneumatic belts that uses a final set of diverters to lead to the appropriate unit.
It began as a criticism of Soviet social housing of the 20th century, where people were organized around shared utilities like kitchens and bathrooms. Tenants at the time later recalled their living conditions fondly, but remember the weird relationships people developed with those utilities. People would try to lay claim to things shared. Even in communal lifestyles, people find value and comfort in ownership. It helps us maintain a level of individuality, even when part of a collective. Pneu-Share takes on a different angle for social housing, where it is socializing is by choice. Lives are as shared or as private as people want. The system incentivizes communal living, but it’s not for everyone.
Co-housing communities around today operate in an opt-in lifestyle already. Co-housing consolidates utilities and resources both.
Usufruct – This a property law term that effectively means: the temporary right to use and enjoy someone else’s real property, and the true owner does not expect anything in return. Most of the goods in the Pneu-Share system are owned by Pneu-Share and are held in usufruct, meaning the tenants can use the stuff so long as they actively participate in the system and donate their goods upon entering (at their own discretion). Ideally, this would establish an irreducible minimum standard of living throughout the community, meaning anyone could enter the system and live comfortably.
Some of the base concepts of Japanese Metabolism are at the heart of this project as well. Pneu-Share can grow with the needs of the people, and nearly every element of the project is a plug-in module of some sort. Rigorous logics establish a framework, while personalized adhocism gives each unit its own sense of variety.
Finally, the Chilean Project Cybersyn was a concept from the 1970s that heavily influenced Pneu-Share. Cybersyn sought to create a perfectly equitable socialist society through the rigorous tracking of everything in Chile from an economic and manufacturing standpoint. At the time, technology could not live up to the idea, but even today the kind of metadata and tracking it involved seems commonplace. Pneu-Share exists in a possible future where this sort of thing would be even easier than it is now.
Below are a series of sketches and working drawings that I think are rather fun, despite not having any direct relationship to the rest of the project shown above.