Nudging the boundaries between public and private space in student housing; scoping TU Delft students’ perception of co-housing

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As the housing shortage in the Netherlands increases, students have a harder time finding living spaces. On top of that, there has been an increase in psychological issues and feelings of loneliness among students. This loneliness can be exacerbated by the focus on building large studio apartment complexes without collective spaces. The proposed solution for both these problems is community housing (co-housing). In this paper we are going to research if co-housing can indeed decrease loneliness among students while intensifying the use of space and we will research the willingness of students to share their space. A boardgame was developed to establish TU Delft students’ attitudes towards co-housing, offering insights to inform the design of future housing compositions. The main question in this research was: How can the spatial, social, and emotional preferences of TU Delft students be systematically mapped to inform design decisions related to their loggings? The literature review on co-housing showed that co-housing can reduce the spatial need per individual and provides strong possibilities for social and emotional bonds which could reduce loneliness. Data gathered from the boardgame revealed that the majority (68.4%) of TU Delft students are willing to pursue co-housing principles to achieve a reduction in rent and climate impact. This makes co-housing a potential typology for student housing to intensify the use of space and create a possibility to reduce loneliness.