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The sharing economy emerged in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Despite its origin being completely unrelated to architecture, it quickly managed to change the way we occupy space and navigate through our cities. And while it rendered some older brick-and-mortar institutions obsolete, its temporal character and loose take on property allowed for new typologies to emerge. One such clear preference is the recent comeback of the pop-ups.

If you pass through London's Old Street Station often enough, you can't help but noticing the appearance of very ambiguous shop fronts, including an egg freezing store, a DJ school and a live art installation with the UK-based artist Mr Doodle. Similar to accommodation rental platforms, their retail counterpart offers a peer-to-peer interface for connecting landlords with entrepreneurs, allowing you to book from a pool of available vacant spaces throughout the city. Entrepreneurs receive an empty shop within 48 hours, ready to be changed however fits best to their idea.

Apart from their lack of explicit commercial agenda and minimal design, those pop-ups share something else. For a generation, foreign to long-term employment or ownership, filling the gaps is a reactionary spatial strategy in times of economic hardship and political uncertainty.



Mark