Co-living is the term for a living arrangement in which three or more biologically unrelated people share a common residential structure.
Modern co-living originated in Denmark in the 1960s. Bodil Graae wrote a newspaper article in 1967 that questioned the structure of the traditional family unit. The article inspired a group of families to develop the Sættedammen co-living project in 1972. The Danish term bofællesskab (“living community”) was introduced to North America by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett in their 1989 book Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves.
The current co-living resurgence began in San Francisco with “hacker mansions,” veritable startup factories outfitted with bunk beds. Today, companies like Common, Founder House, Krash, and WeLive offer fully furnished apartments in New York City with shared kitchens, bathrooms, and common areas. The New Yorker devoted an entire article to the rise of co-living startups in May 2016.