airbnb launches samara: an internal design + innovation studio led by joe gebbia
airbnb launches samara: an internal design + innovation studio led by joe gebbia airbnb launches samara: an internal design + innovation studio led by joe gebbia
aug 04, 2016

airbnb launches samara: an internal design + innovation studio led by joe gebbia


airbnb co-founder joe gebbia has announced the creation of samara — a multidisciplinary innovation and design studio held internally within the company. conceived with the support of co-founders brian chesky and nathan blecharczyk, samara brings together design and engineering experts from airbnb to explore the intersection of architecture, product production, software, and new economic models.

airbnb samara joe gebbia
the logo of samara is an iteration of the symbol of airbnb



as a graduate of the rhode island school of design, and one of the first participants of the designboom mart in new york, gebbia has long been driven by the power of creativity to reimagine the future. drawing from the unyielding and hearty samara seedling, the mission of the new design studio is to explore services and ideas that promote airbnbs values and vision. made up of experts from a range of backgrounds, samara creates new ideas and build services that support the brand’s growing community of members and participants.

airbnb samara joe gebbia
the studio explores the intersection of architecture, product design, and software engineering



‘samara is a design studio that builds on new attitudes towards the trust that we’ve discovered through airbnb,’ gebbia describes. ‘with that trust, we have the capacity to break through more barriers and in turn allow our community members to better serve each other. in the way that airbnb’s design allows complete strangers to share experiences with one another, samara seeks to design new kinds of experiences that address these factors in the hopes of fostering empathy… naturally.’

airbnb samara joe gebbia
the studio’s mission is to conceive services and ideas that promote airbnb’s values and vision



samara’s first project is the yoshino cedar house designed and built for kenya hara’s ‘house vision exhibition‘ in tokyo and created in collaboration with architect go hasegawa. the cedar wood dwelling explores how architectural features can foster a deeper relationship between hosts and guests.


following the exhibition, the home will be permanently relocated to yoshino — a rural town in the nara district of japan — where it will be a bookable airbnb that is maintained by the community and the first of its kind. proceeds earned from guests will be used to strengthen the cultural legacy and future of the town, which has struggled as young people migrate away from rural communities. samara will closely monitor the progress of ‘yoshino cedar house’ and consider expanding this concept to similar communities around the world. ‘the yoshino cedar house is just one seed among many,’ gebbia explains. ‘given the size and scale of the airbnb community, the areas to explore are limitless.’

airbnb samara joe gebbia
the fields for samara to explore ‘are limitless’, joe gebbia says

airbnb samara joe gebbia
samara intends to create new services that support airbnb’s growing community

airbnb samara joe gebbia
samara and yoshino cedar house collaboration

airbnb samara joe gebbia
samara’s first project is ‘yoshino cedar house’ (read more about the house vision exhibition on designboom here
image © edward caruso

airbnb samara joe gebbia
the project envisions the ways in which architecture can foster a relationship between hosts and guests
image © edward caruso

airbnb samara joe gebbia
joe gebbia pictured at the yoshino cedar house
image © edward caruso

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