Meet Bart Sasim, Co-Liv’s Head of Design
Founder & CEO at Spatial Experience & Super Agency B.V.
How do you currently define yourself and what drives you?
As an ambitious and young entrepreneur, in my early days I ideated a future for the emerging real estate industry. This idea has developed over the years and is now the foundation for the core mission and vision of the company I founded: Spatial Experience (link). I have dedicated my professional career to foster solutions and help companies embrace the future. And most certainly, we are currently experiencing the need for faster and more efficient change within the industry.
I am a curious, pragmatic and results driven professional; a team player when it comes to supporting clients and partners, but also an inspiring leader to my team.
As an interdisciplinary designer, initially trained in spatial design and interior architecture, I have always been intrigued by the idea of repurposing existing buildings in order to create spaces that instill emotional connection and inspire interaction. I envision the future of cities and urban spaces in a way that makes people feel more connected, included & noticed.
Being a thought-leader brings a lot of responsibility and I believe it should be managed in a respectful way. When implementing these vital changes to the emerging real estate industry, it is crucial (and amazing!) to partner up and collaborate with other like-minded professionals to build a fertile environment for growth & innovation, co-creation and realization of sustainable future living.
What passionate you about coliving and why are you actively promoting the coliving scene?
Shared economy and circular economy are concepts that I believe can have a positive impact in the way we continue to design for future societies and communities. My team and I share similar values regarding the future of the environment, we believe that collaborative consumption brings far more benefits in a long-term perspective than individualistic, wasteful practices, and we transfer these values to our projects. In the next couple of years, the sustainable attitude will undoubtedly have an even greater impact on both global and local (community) living and we already started doing our part to feed this change.
The modern society is craving and longing for one basic human need: honest and real interaction. That’s why it is so relevant to create a flexible and diverse community around buildings: a place where we can share, connect and collaborate. We have this saying in my country that a man is a gregarious species, so we are meant to live in a ‘herd’. The power of togetherness enables us to solve complex problems, such as loneliness, mental issues or social stratification. In a nutshell, what I am most passionate about is finding progressive ways in which to solve problems.
What’s your personal vision and thoughts on the future of coliving for the year to come?
The coronavirus outbreak has definitely created one of the most challenging environments the coliving industry has ever faced. However, I follow Albert Einstein’s thought saying that “in the midst of every crisis, lies a great opportunity”. Now it’s the right time to grab the opportunity and spread the word of our mission & vision. Therefore, at Spatial Experience (SPX) we continue to envision coliving and other emerging real estate sectors as part of the creation of experience-driven spaces that enable human-to-human interactions, both online and offline. This, of course, goes beyond just bringing like-minded people together. Coliving thought-leaders connect people from all cultures, backgrounds, occupations and age, enabling internationalisation to take its course and create an environment of open-mindedness & acceptance in its wake.
Another trend that I see happening, especially in the post-pandemic reality, is that the world is switching from global to local again. Glocalism is the next aspect that will shape community, neighbourhood and city living.
It’s certain that coliving is here to stay, and I envision a rapid growth and development within the industry. As the interest and demand grows, I believe we will experience diversification within this alternative segment. Challenges on how to design spaces that can accommodate different personalities within a community of small, medium or large scale will surface. Studying the community aspect of coliving and how to nurture and enable it is of high relevance for the months to come. From creating a brand experience to engineering a living beyond the walls… There is a great perspective, and a lot of work to do!
You recently joined Co-Liv as “Head of Design” — which opportunities do you want to create for the organization, its members, and the coliving industry?
Firstly, I am sincerely excited about joining the Co-Liv board! I look forward to elevating the Co-Liv brand and contributing to its growth and reach. My priority is to make sure all visual and non-visual communication aligns with the vision and mission of the organization, by bringing my expertise in growth-driven design as well as promoting design thinking methodology.
I will also focus on design-oriented partnerships and cross-industry connections to bring Co-Liv to a broader audience. I can sense many opportunities for the future development of Co-Liv and I am ready to explore them.
My ambition is to attract, curate and stimulate the community of talented designers within the Co-Liv circle. Together, with a cooperative approach, right mindset and possibilities to exchange best practices & know-how, we will be able to drive even greater results.
How did you get into coliving?
It all started during my interior architecture studies. I was researching repurposing, or what I like to call recycling of buildings, when I got obsessed with programming the space to stimulate human interactions. Starting my professional career in the middle of the real estate crisis was not really easy but it helped me look at real estate differently — abandon the beaten track and think in a more innovative way about housing and how creative thinking may help in solving “old problems”. The interdisciplinary background helped me encounter several exciting projects, co-creating the success of The Class of 2020, The Student Hotel, Staytoo, OurDomain, among other disruptive brands in the market. Coliving has existed in many shapes and forms, but only recently we are looking into its essential meaning and purpose as a reaction to a housing crisis and a new generation of global/local or even glocal citizens.
From early days of PBSA to PBSL, coliving or even cohousing,… it’s the desire to create meaningful (urban) spaces for people to live in that has driven me to continue researching these specialist asset classes and how to design for ROI, not only in terms of commercial value, but also sustainable & living value for current and future communities.
Thank you for being part of this movement! How can people reach out and what can you mostly help them with?
At Spatial Experience we bring creativity and innovation to emerging sectors of real estate. You can visit our website: www.spatial-experience.com or find me on LinkedIn and drop me a message! We help real estate players uncover opportunities that will scale the impact of their business through a range of creative services, always keeping business objectives in mind. Together we push the boundaries, deliver community-driven experiences and shape the market.
With lots of co-love,
The Co-Liv Team
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