Meet Lucy McInally, Co-Liv’s Head of Marketing
How do you currently define yourself, and what drives you?
I’m a creative individual with a background in interior design and art history, so I’m driven by my curiosity and critical mind. I’m always questioning why something is done in a particular way and what can change. I’m ambitious as I dream of big things and just go for it! Last year, I started my own business - ...And So Forth - delivering content creation to businesses. My motivation drives me to work with my clients (who’re all entrepreneurial), to build their brands and meet their visions. Self-starters have a different outlook on life - nothing is impossible and this greatly inspires me.
What makes you passionate about coliving, and why are you actively promoting the coliving scene?
At university, I studied collaborative design methods - a framework to how communities are formed by designing spaces that meet the needs of its users. Interior design combines a whole load of concepts - spatial design, materiality, but also topics like psychology and history. I’ve been intrigued to find out that people tend to congregate in spaces that have been used as historic community spaces - such as marketplaces, docks, religious grounds or spaces for entertainment. I think people need others, and they desire to feel a sense of belonging in a community. I love how coliving enhances this. We can’t live isolated lives anymore as it hinders quality of life and a sense of purpose.
What are your visions and thoughts on the future of coliving for the year to come?
I think coliving can broaden and start to focus on different groups of people, as I feel that coliving is generally aimed at the young professional market. Design shapes this. I’m passionate about design for women - historically, spaces have not been designed with women in mind, and women often don’t feel comfortable in certain spaces. Things need to change to address this. I’m also intrigued about design for the 50+ market, who’re often overlooked. As we live longer and age well, we’ll need to design solutions to enable good quality of life. I believe that people need to feel empowered in the spaces that they inhabit, particularly their homes. Coliving is for everyone though, so in terms of the young professional market, I think it’s a brilliant solution to the affordability crisis and will enable people more freedom to travel and experience the world. Now that the pandemic allows more people to work remotely, I reckon there will be a massive rise in people looking for temporary and communal spaces across the world. Coliving allows this opportunity.
You joined Co-Liv as “Head Of Marketing" - which opportunities do you want to create for the country you represent, the organization, its members, and the coliving industry?
As a marketeer, I want to help Co-Liv spread the word about the values of coliving - particularly that coliving is for everyone. I love the sense of community that we have at Co-Liv, the operators and stakeholders I’ve come across are doing truly amazing things for the coliving movement. Everyone seems to be motivated by good will and empathy, which is fantastic. I also believe that we’re challenging the movement, as coliving seems to be a bit of a buzzword at the moment.
How did you get into coliving?
I lived with a group of girls whilst studying for my undergraduate degree. It was a really great experience! I didn’t know about the concept of coliving back then so I guess I became aware of coliving only a few years ago. When I first graduated, I moved to Cambodia to work with a group of property investors, managing their project and designing the interiors. I didn’t know much about interior design, so I started learning and researching, and came across some examples of community living - I was fascinated! There were no coliving spaces in Cambodia but I travelled to Singapore and briefly stayed in a coliving space. I met the founder and we had a great chat about coliving and design. I moved back to the UK a couple of years ago and started working with a government agency who were working on developing an intergenerational village with the Scottish Government to find solutions for the ageing population crisis. I became aware of intergenerational design, so decided to study this when I studied a Masters in Interior Design at the Glasgow School of Art, where I graduated from last year.
Thank you for being part of this movement! How can people reach out, and what can you mostly help them with?
I’m happy to chat with coliving operators about their marketing strategy. I’m also up for a conversation about the design side of things too, anything about the collaborative design method, meeting needs of users, design for women, over 50s and intergenerational design.
With lots of co-love,
The Co-Liv Team
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