Airbnb is now adding “architect” and “urban planner” to its repertoire. The home-sharing leader’s futures division, Samara, is launching its “Backyard” initiative to model new ways to share and build homes.
The first wave of prototype buildings are slated for public release in 2019. Airbnb chief product officer, cofounder, and Samara founder Joe Gebbia tells Fast Company that rather than simply building accessory dwelling units (ADUs), the premise is more grand. Prefabricated homes, green building materials, multi-unit complexes, and detached dwellings are all part of the program’s arsenal, with the overarching mission of being a producer and marketplace for selling a variety of homes and parts of homes.