A New Housing ModelColiving Factory
A co-living experiment with uniquely social and human dimensions.
compose consists of apartments, shared spaces, and services designed to facilitate access to housing for isolated individuals.
It’s an invitation to forge new connections, do away with loneliness, and grow with others.
The collaboration between Coliving Factory (compose didn’t exist yet) and Souffl began in 2017.
The fledgling company, together with the Souffl designers, worked on a comprehensive, human-focused approach, to create what would become an experiment with uniquely social and human dimensions.
With the first residence in Nantes established, we were able to go from theory to a proper field study.
From Coliving Factory to compose.
From a simple intuition to a well-constructed brand with market recognition
The journey of an innovative company on the rise.
It started with a firm belief and a potential opportunity.
It started with a way to combat loneliness and the downsizing of housing in urban areas, which particularly affects individuals in-between living arrangements.
concept and a full-scale
In 2017, the original idea was to develop a version of the co-living concept for young professionals in a phase of transition.
At that point, the goal was to transform plots comprised of independent studios to provide access to large shared spaces as well as a number of services.
Work on the first residential space began in Nantes, in the Sèvre neighborhood.
Formerly a farmhouse, the fully renovated 450 square meter (4840 sq ft) building opened its doors in December 2019.
It would serve as a test.
It was immediately successful with the tenants, who found it to be a good balance between privacy and community living.
Meanwhile, in 2017, Souffl had begun working with Coliving Factory.
The request was seemingly simple: understand the daily lives of people in co-living arrangements and confirm the suitability of the services offered.
The answers found by Souffl would far surpass the initial projections, revealing the deeper meaning of the project and its perspectives.
the concept and going
A year and a half after its first collaboration with Coliving Factory, Souffl returned with a mission to conduct an analysis and identify new avenues.
The first time we collaborated with Coliving Factory, we focused our work around the company’s vision.
Our mission was to understand the socioeconomic challenges and the issue to be addressed in order to encapsulate the concept.
This systematic, collaborative endeavor culminated in October 2017 with the formulation of a specific offering:
– Feel at home
– In good company
– No constraints, no trade-offs
This concept served as a cornerstone for Coliving Factory and was then tested in the first residence.
It quickly became apparent that the social ties which had instantly developed were casting doubt on the “no constraints, no trade-offs” part.
It was necessary to better understand and put in perspective the social challenges revealed by the pilot project.
Coliving Factory once again called upon Souffl to further develop their concept.
A year and
a half later (after the
initial collaboration): exploration and analysis.
We took up the concept without any preconceptions and sought to gain a comprehensive view of community living throughout different eras and societies.
We researched the co-living phenomenon, its actors and their interactions, along with the forces and challenges impacting this issue.
The second step was to immerse ourselves on the ground.
This approach made it possible to understand the individuals and their needs and obstacles, as well as to address the architectural, social, and environmental issues in their entirety.
The idea was to observe, analyze, and get a feel for the real-life experience of the end users and then compare the results with Coliving Factory’s concepts. We therefore interacted a lot with the first people to live in the residence and asked them quite a few questions. We lived with them, examined their lifestyles, and took hundreds of photos to better understand and apprehend their needs and expectations.
The creative team at Souffl also ventured out to meet a number of other tenants and co-tenants throughout France to collect their stories and understand their needs.
Tests conducted with the support of the initial tenants allowed us to test the services available along with the role of Contact Person, before conducting a comprehensive analysis.
We too observed that the social dimension of the project was much more significant than envisaged, but also that certain aspects of the project were occasionally misunderstood by the residents.
"Reliance": an invitation to make new connections.
Out of the many new topics raised, it was necessary to identify which ones our client wanted or needed to commit to.
We noticed that what really made Coliving Factory stand apart from other co-living systems was the creation of strong ties that engaged and united its tenants.
To better define the essence of Coliving Factory, we then developed the concept of Reliance:”an invitation to make new connections.”
Coliving Factory housing facilities appeared as an invitation to reconnect and to connect differently. Forging new bonds requires one to forego other ties, to separate from one’s family, one’s roots, and to trade in differences.
This is sparked ad hoc friendships and new, surprisingly strong social ties.
Reliance gave us a framework to clarify the concept. This tool is what made it possible for us all to work together.
It also allowed our client to clarify their key values and finally be able to defend the ideas they had chosen to emphasize: providing access to housing, sparking connection to eliminate loneliness, accepting one’s share of social and environmental responsibility, designing human-focused accommodation, and creating a space for everyone to thrive.
After this step, it was much easier to define the scope of our topics, draft a manifesto, and come up with the right name for the project.
This resulted in a value proposition related to the name and a manifesto that constitutes compose’s mainstay and dictated the choice of services to be offered.
In this way, we were able to view the project as it was, go beyond our client’s concept, and finally develop a concrete vision of the brand’s future.
The Brand Identity.
Once the value proposition was complete, the final step was to find a name that alone could convey the entire concept and values of the brand.
In January 2021, compose was launched.
A brand name — the word to tell them.
Souffl suggested that Coliving Factory choose a brand name to align with its goal: to be a benchmark in the art of living both together and separately.
compose is an engaging experience; residents are selected for their diversity; and the accommodations form part of the neighborhood.
It’s an all-encompassing brand for an ecosystem consisting of actors, products, and services offered.
compose describes this new experience of community living, made possible by the union of people very different from one another under the same roof, together forming a united group.
compose also evokes the art of composition and the talent required to create harmony.
Living in a compose home means experiencing a new way of being together and separate at the same time.
Coliving Factory is currently the developer for compose.
The Visual Identity.
Once a name was found, the design and the entire visual language followed quite naturally.
compose is not a visionary model.
compose is a necessary model.
Necessary because it is crucial to rethink the concept of the home and to facilitate access to comfortable, individually tailored housing.
Necessary because working individuals need solutions for a new kind of geographical mobility.
Necessary because we must let go of the individualism and social isolation in which we find ourselves each morning.
Necessary to reinvest in a shrinking urban heritage, to preserve its beauty, and inject new energy.
To enable those ready for human experiences to reinvent things.
The value proposition:
a benchmark in the art
of living both together
compose means a flexible lease, tenants selected for diversity, and minimal closing costs, but it also means so much more…
Whatever your age or status, our doors are open to you. We bring together small groups, typically composed of people going through a transitional phase, who gradually develop strong ties and help each other out.
If our tenants come to us because they need to, they stay because they want to.
Creating new connections to fight loneliness and grow with others.
compose means getting coffee and putting the world to rights, cultivating your inner circle, caring about something and sharing others’ passions.
This new way of residing is an invitation to go a step further in your vicinity, to create new connections enriched by differences with other residents.
We believe the right size for a true home is the human dimension.
Facilitate and improve each resident’s daily life compose means a furnished, well-insulated apartment, a shared space that isn’t too shared, and services that are included or optional.
It also means a contact person to welcome you and guide you on a daily basis.
But most of all, other residents and their differences will bring you together and make your life easier.
The only place you won’t hear each other out is through the walls.
By linking highly independent apartments to attractive shared spaces and services, compose offers access to a level of comfort and togetherness well above what a standard dwelling can provide.
Residences by compose are always human-sized; they are typically no larger than 500 m² (5400 sq ft).
Apartments are furnished, fully equipped, and insulated with high-quality materials, for complete and highly convenient independence.
The noise and thermal insulation saves an average of €50/month (approx $60) compared to a standard dwelling.
The large kitchen, the living room, the yard, and all accompanying equipment are shared.
Private life stays private, but you need only open your door to have a rich social life.
Residences by compose are designed as an invitation to create new connections, to fight loneliness and grow with others, people who often become like family.
Here you can find solitude, on your terms.
Diversity and motivation before social standing.
compose is for anyone, with priority given to those on the move or in a transitional phase, personally or professionally.
The offered experience isn’t meant to be short term; it includes transition support over the medium/long term.
More than anything else, residents are selected on the basis of motivation and diversity, especially in terms of social standing, age, and gender.
Whether you’re 18 or 58, going back to school, new in town with a career plan, or starting over…
Our doors are open to everyone, which is what makes compose unique.
Residents spend time together, help one another, and facilitate the inclusion of newcomers.
compose is also a service offering designed to make residents’ lives easier. Some of these are pooled, while less essential services are available on request.
A circle of needs.
We think Maslow’s pyramid of needs, a representation of the hierarchy of fundamental needs, is outdated.
The needs may not have changed since the ’70s (the last time the pyramid was updated), but they are no longer hierarchical — they are all at the same level, dependent on different phases in life.
They form a circle around what it means to be human and the unique qualities of each person.
These needs play a central role in the compose offering:
a furnished, fully equipped apartment; a shared kitchen and living room; a yard; a guest room; advanced acoustic and thermal insulation; high-quality 140 cm bedding (European double); a well-equipped kitchen; cleaning service for shared spaces; bread and coffee; linens; high-speed internet; and shared bicycles.
cleaning service for the apartment; laundry service for linens; groceries; and an electric bicycle.
Another very important thing to note is that residences by compose have a contact person who accommodates, listens to, and responds to individual and collective requests from residents.
The launch of compose.fr in January 2021 was the method chosen to unveil the compose brand and present its ambitious project: to be a benchmark in the art of living both together and separately.
compose will continue aligning its offering with its values.
compose and Souffl have decided to enhance their collaboration, to take the experiment a step further by developing the compose ecosystem.
This project is evolving and receiving support.
So, watch this space.