Hacking Home


| 9/6/2012 2:54:18 PM


Tags: Shareable, coliving, intentional community, network,

 This post originally appeared on Shareable.net

 Rainbow House 

The Rainbow Mansion. Photo by dweekly on Flickr.

In 2006, Jessy Kate Schingler and four other young engineers landed jobs at NASA’s Ames Research Center. They suddenly needed a place to live in Silicon Valley, but rather than opt for cheap housing with a long commute, they pooled their resources and rented a palatial 5,000 square foot property in Cupertino. The Rainbow Mansion was born.

It was more than just a luxury home full of brilliant young minds. Dubbed “an intentional community”, The Rainbow Mansion was an experiment in a new type of cohabitation. The house began hosting hackathons and salons in its library, inviting Silicon Valley’s best and brightest to participate. “Right away it set itself in motion,” Schingler says. “It had this sort of accidental mystique about it.”

In the six years since, the Rainbow Mansion has housed 60 people from 12 countries, along with employees from Google, Apple, and Tesla. One of Schingler’s cofounders, Chris Kemp, became CTO of IT at NASA. And Schingler herself has become an advocate of coliving, the practice of bringing extraordinary people under one roof to live, work, and change the world together.

In today’s America, almost 50 percent of adults in the United States are single, and more than a quarter of “households” are just an individual living alone. An increasing amount of social interaction happens online, rather than face-to-face.