Multilocal living between mobility and settledness

More and more people live in more than one place. They organise their everyday life in and between different homes, they live and work as so-called multilocals. Although multilocality is not new, we can observe a remarkable quantitative and qualitative shift within this phenomenon. Today multilocality as such is not a matter of social class or lifestyle anymore – rather it has entered societal mainstream. It is accompanied by a series of social developments, e.g. the growing demand and need for mobility.

Mobility – a key word of modernity – is the very premises for multilocal living. Multilocality is situated between mobility and settledness, between constraint and opportunity, between work and leisure, between here and there. Against this background the key questions are:

How do multilocals organise their everyday life? Which strategies do they develop in dealing with their specific mode of multilocality? What is the meaning of being on the road, being in between, being in transit? For many people multilocality provides the structural frame of their everyday life and affects many spheres: housing, work, leisure, social relations etc. How do multilocals organise these spheres? How do the spheres interact with the multilocal way of life? And what are the specific dimensions of meaning in this context?

Empirical evidence on these questions will be gained by an approach based on the Grounded Theory. In order to grasp the large variety and high complexity of the phenomenon, we have to ask for the multilocal‘s perspective – communicated via narrative depth interviews.

On the one hand the gained empirical evidence will contribute to the planned Mobile Culture Studies research focus at the ETH Wohnforum - ETH CASE. And on the other hand the insights will be made accessible for (future) architects.

Article NZZ 25. 11. 2012

2006 to 2010