Would you pay by the minute to use a shared living room?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 08:06:13 AM. So you're having to room share to live in the city. What if you need more than a place to sleep? Well, now you can rent a living room by the minute. Welcome to the world of distributed living.
Photo: A living room rented by the minute — the age of the 'distributed' home is upon us. (Supplied: Ziferblat) Zifferblatt with double 'f' and double 't' is a German and Russian word for a watch face. Ziferblat with only one 'f' and one 't' is a home you can rent by the minute. The missing letters are a clue to what you get — not the whole deal. In a time when rents and rental insecurity are high and people are sharing rooms with strangers just to have a bed for the night, it is worth looking at this new "home as a service" enterprise. Ziferblat originated in Moscow and spread from there to St Petersburg and other Russian and Eastern locations via Ljubljana to Manchester, Liverpool and London. Around the world, there are currently 14 Ziferblat venues, described as places for cultural and social engagement. Russia has had a cultural precedent for communal living. After the 1917 revolution, komunalkas emerged to provide collective living arrangements in response to an acute urban housing crisis. The Ziferblat concept seems a perfect fit for those who share a room at night but don't have a place to call home during the day. Each venue is open from 10am to midnight and offers a place to relax, read, cook or work — you can even have a nap. It is fully furnished and the website shows your companions performing poetry and playing piano, arty bohemian types — and perhaps as a result unable to pay the high rents in city locations. At Ziferblat you pay by the minute. That's right,...Read more
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