In its simplest form, a Future Decker is any future rendition of this iconic vernacular New England building type. It is one meant to serve the needs of today’s and future residents, centered on social, economic, and environmental equity. It does not inherently mean an entirely new building, or a complete elimination of the familiar building type, but instead the beginning of a needed shift that could invite more of this type of multifamily housing into our cities. You may have already encountered a few of these, perhaps connecting only a few of those aspects, but striving to be better. [wentworth student work]
As we mentioned earlier, this exhibition exists as a way to invite your own stories, adding to the larger collective vision of what the future of this building typology can be and provide to all residents who wish to live in a triple or future decker.
We have created a workshop “take-home” packet, which we shared with participants during our in person events. In this, the participant can retell and envision, whether individually or with a friend or family member, their experiences by sharing where a three decker may have been in Boston, what activities they did, who they lived with, and use the same categories to suggest a future where they could determine their own needs.
When we were all asked to pivot to an online engagement this past March, we recognized that . We invite you to digitally create your own future decker, using the template we provided. You may use the “sticker” components like an additional floor, or pitched roof, or even a commercial floor, but also consider what exists around your building, such as the preferred mode of transportation to get to and from your home, and if and how many trees should surround your space. Again, you may do this exercise individually or with others, and see how your visions compare! [create your own future decker]
To create your own future decker, click here!
In addition to telling the stories shared in this exhibition, and inviting others to do the same, we (the BSA and the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab) have been interested in learning more about the role of multifamily housing in the city of Boston. As studies show that “both younger and older nonfamily households are showing a greater tendency to live in multifamily housing than their predecessors,” we must also think creatively about how to increase the housing options of this kind. From this exhibition, you may have been able to tell that multifamily housing makes up the fabric of our cities, yet triple deckers are not the only form of multifamily housing that currently exists. We would like to hear from you: what other types of housing of this kind have contributed to your own experiences, from living in one to visiting or noticing them around and what other types of multifamily housing do you feel make our cities what they are today?
Feel free to submit photos and stories here. [mf housing call for entries]
(Content: WIT and Paul Lukez images, Create Your Own FD, Call for Entries of MF housing)