Emerging in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and building upon the popularity of existing digital platforms such as eBay and Craigslist, peer-to-peer exchange compensated for a failing job market and digitalised trust by establishing accountability between strangers. As much as the practice was promoted for its contribution to resilience, sustainability and democratisation of opportunity, its poster children such as Airbnb and Uber have exacerbated housing crises, disregarded employment protection laws and commodified our private space in ways we couldn’t imagine earlier. This article argues that even if the existing cases are failing to do so, the sharing economy practices do have the potential to facilitate financial resilience, if provided a suitable exchange system and regulatory framework.

The most recent developments in the field suggest looking back to cooperative ownership models as a way forward or Sharing 2.0. In fact, some platforms are already taking the initial step through generating collectively governed capital (Fairbnb) or introducing local non-monetary exchange systems like time banking (Madeopen). In order to understand what constitutes a good sharing practice in architecture and how it should be regulated, the article uses a case study approach to create a genealogy of shared spaces and their underlying structures. The use of architectural representation techniques for the mapping and analysis of both spatial and economic conditions questions the role of the architect as complicit in the malfunctioning of the real estate market, and therefore mobilises their skillset in its investigative capacity.