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Airbnb launches Samara
With the Yoshino Cedar House designed in collaboration with Go Hasegawa, Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia announced today the creation of a dedicated multi-disciplinary design studio.
Airbnb co-founder and CPO, Joe Gebbia, today announced the creation of Samara, a dedicated multi-disciplinary innovation and design studio within Airbnb. Conceived with the support of co-founders Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk, Samara will bring together design and engineering experts from Airbnb to further avant garde ideas and build advanced services that explore new areas of the Airbnb community.
As a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Gebbia has always been impassioned by design and its power to reimagine the future. Inspired by the tenacious and hearty samara seedling, the mission of this new internal design studio is to develop services and ideas that extend Airbnb’s values and vision into new areas. With experts from a range of backgrounds, Samara will delve into architecture, service design, software engineering, and new economic models.
“We believe healthy communities are those that support each other, and we’re inventing new pathways to enable this,” said Gebbia. “Samara will give us even more experimental space to apply what we’ve learned over the last eight years and pioneer services for connection, commerce, and social change within and around the expanding Airbnb community.”
The team behind Samara has already begun its work with the launch of the Yoshino Cedar House, a glimpse into enlivening rural municipalities. Designed and built for Kenya Hara’s House Vision exhibition in Tokyo and created in collaboration with Go Hasegawa, a Tokyo-based architect, the house realizes how architectural features can engender a deeper relationship between hosts and guests. Following the exhibition, Yoshino Cedar House will be permanently installed in Yoshino, a bucolic town in the Nara district of Japan, where it will be a bookable Airbnb listing that is maintained by the village. Proceeds earned from guests who visit will be used to strengthen the cultural legacy and future of the area, which has struggled as younger generations migrate away from rural towns.
With Yoshino Cedar house, Samara created a new way to merge the community with space for guests. And the end result – a listing run by and for the benefit of a local village – is the first Airbnb of its kind. The team will closely monitor the progress of Yoshino Cedar House and consider expanding this model to rejuvenate similar rural communities around the world.
Yoshino Cedar house Design: Go Hasegawa with Samara