Co-Living

History of the Co-Living Movement

Ava Miller | 12/1/20

History of the Co-Living Movement

History of the Co-living Movement 

Co-living is the act of living together in one community, with a group of like-minded people. You’ll probably all work remotely, and while you certainly won’t be obliged to do everything together, many mealtimes and activities are communal. But how did this concept come about? In this article, we’ll look at the history of co-living and how it became the movement it is today.

The 1970s

1970s Denmark saw the cohousing movement begin. It first started with families who lived in their own homes but shared various communal spaces. This wasn’t due to a need - it was because the people in these homes wanted to have a community of people around them. 

These co-living communities started to spring up around the world, with the first in the USA opening in the 90s in California. These ran off a similar model to the original in Denmark. 

The Internet

The internet was a huge step when it came to working remotely and quitting the office. Hacker homes were first introduced in San Francisco and consisted of computing experts who worked and lived together. They were all working communally on projects in the tech industry, with mutual goals. 

These ‘Hacker Homes’ still exist around the world today. 

Co-living in the modern world 


Modern co-living is slightly different, however. People in co-living spaces may work together or on separate projects, but the general premise is that, on one property, they will live and work together. Some co-living spaces have shared rooms, and some feature private rooms only. There are generally co-working spaces in co-living environments. 

These co-living spaces often look a bit like hostels, but with one crucial difference - people are not traveling in the city but are there to live and work remotely. There will often be some packages included helping them get to know the city and country a little more. 

The entire premise of modern co-living is doing things as a community, although there are certainly opportunities to explore the outside world as well. Professionally, there are chances for networking with other professionals outside of the space to gain contacts and opportunities that may not be available elsewhere. 


Co-living has undoubtedly evolved over the years, but it has always had the same ethos at heart. It has gone from being a family-centric movement to one that is typically enjoyed by young professionals in cities and countries around the world. At its heart is and always will be community!