Our families are the most intimate communities in our lives. They provide us with a sense of belonging, love and safety. Its definition, however, has changed remarkably over time. As traditional family constructs continue to decline and new familial communities emerge, posing questions of identity and belonging, how do we define family in our modern age? Are families that defy the norms regarded as equal? Can we exist without familial communities?
Taking family as the central theme, our Family Issue explores the topic from a contemporary and inclusive standpoint, which challenges traditional interpretations. With single parent households on the rise, co-habitation connecting people of joint values, and workspaces now building communities at co-working hubs the world over, family structures and dynamics have taken on new meanings both at home and in the workplace.
Former OnOffice editor Helen Parton journeys to family-firm Bahlsen, where Freehaus recently completed the sensitive refurbishment of the company’s Hanover HQ, while in OnTop we explore Balkrishna Doshi’s humanist ethos and visionary ambitions as his anticipated exhibition Architecture for the People unveils at the Vitra Design Museum. Find out about the Amsterdam office using colour to influence how people feel, and join us behind the scenes at Eikund to discover a close-knit community that works together for the good of their people and hometown.
For our cover story, we spoke to Sarah Wigglesworth to find out how she has refined her architectural vision at her unique London home and workspace, and why after 25 years in practice, her firm has become a family in its own right.
While we understand family as historically mutable relationships between individuals who share familial ties, at present, we should have the freedom to define family by our own standards. Celebrating the unique stories behind modern-day families, without suggesting an ideal formulation, our Family Issue highlights its importance as a social unit and our need to belong to a larger whole.
This month’s Family Issue explores family from a contemporary and inclusive standpoint that challenges traditional interpretations