Reconnecting community: combating loneliness through coliving, place attachment, and adaptive reuse in Winnipeg's Exchange District

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Vinsky, Ashley
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This Master of Interior Design practicum proposes the design of a mixed-use coliving community in Winnipeg’s Exchange District as a means to reduce the occurrence of feelings of loneliness among city residents and promote post-pandemic downtown revitalization. Loneliness is one of the greatest public health challenges of the present time. This rising prevalence of loneliness comes at a time when people are living increasingly individualistic lives. Although being alone does not always equate to loneliness, research indicates that loneliness prominently correlates with single-person households, which have become the most common household type in Canada. The project reveals the risks loneliness poses to the health and wellbeing of both people and cities alike while exploring how concepts related to social capital, place attachment, and adaptive reuse can be translated into interior design strategies to encourage social connection and foster the feelings of community. The adaptive reuse of the Daylite Building, located at 296 McDermot Avenue/73 Princess Street, is proposed. Ultimately, the literary, precedent, and site and building analysis findings inform the project’s design programming and interior design strategies. Through the amalgamation of home, work, and third place, the design of the proposed coliving space explores the use of shared living space to foster a sense of community, encourage downtown living in Winnipeg, and support our inherent need for human connection.
Interior Design, Coliving, Community, Place Attachment, Adaptive Reuse, Connection, Loneliness, Social Capital