From Apple to Zee Town

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and architect Gehry look at a design for the Facebook campusThis week it was announced that Facebook is planning to build a housing community within walking distance of its Menlo Park HQ. Dubbed ‘Zee Town’ (unfortunately not ‘Zeeberg’, ‘Zuckerzone’ or ‘Marksville’), it’s the latest bizarre company constructed world.

Designed by Frank Gehry, the ‘town’ will cover 200 acres, cost $200bn and be able to house 10% of Facebook’s Menlo Park employees. Although developments like these could lead to endlessly cool possibilities in terms of product testing, they might create unhealthy work environments and a distinct lack of diversity and cultural influencers.

Facebook certainly isn’t the first company to create its own community. Cadbury did it with Bournville back in the 1880’s, and Apple recently announced Apple Campus 2.

Apple Campus 2 begs some difficult questions. It boasts that 80% of the site will be open space with 7,000 trees and will be powered by 100% renewable energy sources. This is all very well and good but the housing at Apple’s Chinese factories is worlds away. News of suicide nets, and 16 hour shifts for 18 consecutive days, make news about Apple Campus 2 and ‘Zee Town’ a little hard to digest.