In Chinese, the word Cūn means village and community. It leads to a worldly life scenario that neighbours are supporting and sharing their life while keeping harmony and interdependent relationship with the natural environment. Situated in the inner city of Melbourne, CoCūn is a new model for accommodation for international students involved in design-related fields. The prefix co means "with", and in this project is used to reference a coalescence of features.
From co-living with roommates, co-existing with the natural environment; co-operation of programs and the connection between interior and exterior environments, this new living model intends to redefine the boundaries between program, space and activity. CoCūn is an alternative to the current profit-driven monotonous design style and decreases the sense of isolation and separation in current accommodation offerings. The student's mental status and well-being is at the forefront of this project. Harmony with nature is a Daoist concept in traditional Chinese architecture, and this project intends to practice this through the idea of Cūn (village) as a communal interior. By working with flexible programmatic arrangements and materialities, atmospheres transpire concerning hinges, apertures, thresholds, to produce a fluid interior, with permeability, with blurred boundaries between spaces and activities.
Each area in CoCūn is independent but also interconnected; it maximises the possibility of encounters between individuals and the surrounding environment while keeping a certain degree of privacy. Interior design has the power of influencing the psychological experience, and the pattern of behaviour of its users. CoCūn intends to enhance and make use of the positive impact of multiple modes of connections, to create encounters between people and their surrounding social and natural environments under this co-living circumstance. This project aims to encourage community interaction, thereby allowing for a sense of belonging and happiness.