Airbnb Charges Artists to Interpret the Housewarming Experience

Airbnb partnered with design firm Fabrica to unveil an installation designed to show the importance of connecting guests with a home

For Milan design week, Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, partnered with design think tank, Fabrica, to createHousewarming, an experiential installation for the 2015 edition of Salone del Mobile.

This partnership celebrated the connections that guests and hosts experience through sharing a home, as well as how these unique relationships begin with a simple welcome. Following a successful collaboration at the London Design Festival, Airbnb’s installation at Salone 2015 further showcases its commitment to design as a driving force behind the company.

Between April 14-17, installation visitors were able see the creations of 19 international designers who interpreted the concept of “welcome.” Visitors were invited to interact with the designers to further discuss their ideas featured in the installations. From the experience of a very British tea time to the Indian ritual of lighting copper lamps, Airbnb hoped that visitors would leave with a sense of belonging to the Milanese home and the cultures each of the Fabrica designers represented.

Milano, Fabrica for Airbnb © Cristian Castelnuovo
Milano, Fabrica for Airbnb © Cristian Castelnuovo

“Design helps shape our everyday interactions, through products, furniture, objects, or experiences,” said Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia. “Fabrica’s innovative students will showcase Airbnb’s belief that design can create a sense of belonging and facilitate connections between a global community,” he added.

The installation space, Palazzo Crespi, reflected the period’s Baroque style and is an enchanting home steeped in Milanese history. Housewarming allowed the public to experience Palazzo Crespi, a private home, for the first time through a series of creative activations. Trays created a symbolic link and a sense of respect between a host and a guest. Mirrors, objects often found in the entrance spaces of Italian homes, were used to create a link back to the home, as well.

“Working with Airbnb is a true collaboration, as we share the same values on design thinking as a way to propose solutions,” said Sam Baron, head of design at Fabrica. “We both envisage our mission as a way to bring to daily life a unique look on the surrounding environment, where attention to detail reveals special attention to the human being, it’s a way to create specific memories.”

Local habits, cultural references, personal attitudes are re-taught to produce an experience where creativity becomes the common language to making guests feel at home. In a consumer economy where experience is everything, Airbnb has successfully created a partnership that inspired and moved visitors to believe that they can #belonganywhere.

All photos courtesy of © Cristian Castelnuovo. This pieces was originally written for PSFK.