A residential typology is emerging thanks to the rise of Gen Z Instagram, YouTube and TikTok stars: ‘collab houses’. Defhouse is Italy's inaugural example.

Los Angeles has been in the news as of late for its ‘collab houses’, large residences – sometimes even mansions – which groups of influencers in their late teens and early twenties call home (and their stage). These promising content producers have found success on social media platforms, especially TikTok. Being part of such a living collective of like minds is reported to help in building popularity online by way of creative collaborations and cross-promotion. The example has spread to Milan, where Italy’s first collab house has been unveiled by digital content company Web Stars Channel (WSC). WSC art director John Pentassuglia worked with Tresoldi & Partners architect Emanuele Tresoldi to design the Gen Z-friendly interior, which houses seven teenage influencers. His team frames the space as a physical communication channel and training hub.

‘[Choosing the influencers for Defhouse] was not made on the basis of their popularity or the number of followers they have on social networks, but because we saw in them a talent to be cultivated and the ability to function as a group,’ explains WSC creative director and partner Giuseppe Greco. Greco believes that this process will contribute a higher value to the Defhouse project. ‘The house is in fact a large set, over 500 sq-m, where every corner is characterized by bold and non-trivial graphics,’ says Pentassuglia. Inspired by the Italian design movements of the 1980s, the art director visualized colourful, neon-clad spaces built with the aesthetic sensibilities of young Instagram users in mind. From shared rooms designed to suit the personalities of the residents to living spaces like a veranda with a hydromassage tub and Jacuzzi, the influencers are given a shared (notably luxurious) playing field for reaching viral fame.