2021 - Compass Stage
Claire Kimball Johnson and Lærke Hein on Affordability
NREP Property Investment
Claire Kimball Johnson
Claire Kimball Johnson from CKJ studio and Lærke Hein from NREP Property Investment present their respective field of work and subsequently discuss in and around the buzzwords of affordability, ownership, and belonging.
Johnson, an architect and strategist, helps clients to combine strategic processes within architecture and design and to implement cultural heritage preservation work. She helps them to find “their business strategy, their dreams, and their hopes” for the next five and ten years. She works on a small scale, with the final users, inhabitants or companies that have daily contact with their clients, and she helps them achieve their dreams – that includes an emphasis on affordability, sustainability and cultural preservation.
Hein works for a private developer, now as a head of concept. She quickly touches upon different projects she has been involved in, which center around housing and making it more affordable. E.g. in a student/dorm context, in which room size was adapted from a more individual to a more communal understanding of living. There are various other projects in and around Copenhagen, always with the goal to make the city more inclusive and healthy; taking into account a marginalized group like the homeless. There are issues concerning tax rates etc. that according to Hein do hinder a more radical and affordable approach to housing in Copenhagen.
In the discussion the two experts further dive into their respective projects and issues tied to them. One very interesting point that Johnson made was how everybody is seemingly interested and invested in sustainability but it is it's usually the first thing to go when the budget gets tight – thus, it is important to track sustainability as a concept from the initial idea to the design to the construction to the final handover. There needs to be a general shift in housing and living as the young generations need better access to healthy and affordable quality homes. Hein summarizes this as follows: “We need to rethink how we live and look at new forms of ownership, like sharing or renting.” The discussion then picks up on these delineation alongside age, which do not necessarily need to be reiterated, thus a more age-inclusive and open conceptualization of living could benefit in combatting issues of space and mentality of a society.