Together Has Changed – Cutwork’s Manifesto for Post-Covid Living

Together Has Changed is co-living and co-working experts, Cutwork’s manifesto about post-confinement architecture, design and living. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, it explores and acknowledges how physical distancing may transform how we live in the future and change our lifestyles for far longer than we might at first imagine.

Divided into five core subjects and accompanied by studio co-founder, Antonin Yuji Maeno’s beautiful illustrations, Together Has Changed examines the more typical topics of office and home working but also how this may even affect our intimate relationships such as attitudes towards monogamy and how we might prepare for life within a future pandemic.

i) Liquid Territory – “The rising costs of rent and shrinking size of spaces are exposing systemic weakness of our cities. How good are our cities if they only become more and more exclusive? How good is a city if it is a system that increasingly deepens inequalities?… The call for open space and fresh air is not just a trend that reflects those conditions. New forms of flexibility and distance in our ways to live and work may bring a shift to a decentralized living – blending lifestyles between urban and rural in emerging ‘liquid territories’.”

ii) Fiction of Together – “Our cities are built on fictions of exclusivity and division of our differences. Yet, collaboration is at the heart of what makes us human. Large-scale flexible cooperation is exclusive to our species and is what allowed us to expand from small tribes into moon-landing civilisations. Why should we only fall back on our astonishing ability to collaborate in times of crisis? How can we re-imagine today’s habitats to be inclusive to our differences, encourage interactions, and comfortably make space for our vulnerabilities?”

iii) End of Work – “The ability to work from everywhere has already impacted the home, public spaces, and offices, but also mindsets: deciding when and where to work is a cultural shift that reflects a will to question the importance of work in our lives, as well as the notion of productivity. At the core of our contemporary system, one’s productivity is proportional to their financial retribution. With structural unemployment, AI peering over the horizon, and more and more jobs disappearing, this current conception of work seems illusory at best. How can we design our spaces to help us adapt to work from anywhere? What if we decoupled our traditional relationship between money and productivity? What if we adopted whole new systems and relationships to work?”

iv) After the Family – ” In the US, over 20% of people have attempted some form of non-monogamy at some point in their lives. For Esther Perel: “our partner’s sexuality does not belong to us. It isn’t just for and about us, and we should not assume that it rightfully falls within our jurisdiction. We have entered the era of exploration. The family as we knew it, based only on bloodline bonds, is being replaced by the chosen family – a response to individual choices, economic constraints, and life accidents. These dynamic and new liquid relationships are challenging our whole conception of home. They have pushed us to reinvent our shared habitats and the relationship between access and ownership.”

v) Confronting Nature – “How can our cities act as conduits for the natural blossoming and proliferation of life? How to conceive buildings like trees that could activate biodiversity in our cities? How to design our shared habitats … toward other (non-human) living beings?”

The whole manifesto can be viewed here or the individual chapters here. This is a natural progression for the studio which is known also for its acclaimed Cortex Shelter by Cutwork that transformed refugee living providing the security, comfort and dignity far removed from the current tent filled camps.