Airbnb Getting Into the Housing Business
Samara, the futures division of Airbnb, recently announced a new initiative called Backyard, according to an article by Mark Wilson.
Backyard is "an endeavor to design and prototype new ways of building and sharing homes," according to a press statement cited in the article. Despite the Backyard name, the initiative isn't about accessory dwelling units.
Joe Gebbia, Airbnb chief product officer and cofounder, is quoted in the article making the distinction, saying the initiative's name comes from the Samara studio's location on relative to the Airbnb headquarters. According to Wilson, "Backyard is poised to be much larger than ADUs, in Gebbia’s telling. Yes, small prefabricated dwellings could be in the roadmap, but so are green building materials, standalone houses, and multi-unit complexes. Think of Backyard as both a producer and a marketplace for selling major aspects of the home, in any shape it might come in."
Gebbia also says Samara is driven by a moral imperative "to ensure that new homes are designed well, with a small environmental footprint."