If only: Spacelab imagine community capsules

If only there were community capsules that could bring people together, says Nathalia Asamura and Tom Dobbins of Spacelab

We are living in a world that is now more connected than ever before. Every new technological advancement draws us closer to those who are far away. However, it feels as if the greater the reliance on technology, the smaller the need to physically connect with those around us. What does this mean for urban life, and how can we act to preserve interaction among our local communities?

Nathalia Asamura and Tom Dobbins. Both are employed at Spacelab, an award-winning, multidisciplinary design and architectural firm that works on residential, commercial and public projects. Asamura is a senior designer while Dobbins is an architectural assistant. They are highly motivated by Spacelab’s overarching goal: creating space that brings people together.

Placing a larger emphasis on public space would, in our opinion, go some way to solving this problem. A portable capsule that can be inserted into buildings would allow property owners to give space that would support and invigorate their communities, and enable a dialogue with the street itself. The invitation to the public becomes pronounced when the front pivots open, welcoming people to gather around. Interventions such as these could be homeless shelters, performance areas, pop-up retail units, community meeting spaces and book exchanges, or, as in our example, the capsule has been inserted into The Lab – Spacelab’s London office – providing a place for locals to have valuable design input on the new development schemes that will directly affect their community.

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