Coho US Staff
Chuck Durrett, who along with Katie McCamant, brought cohousing to the US, joined us for a WebChat on cohousing design and the process he uses to design a community.
The theme of the evening was "If it doesn't work socially, why bother?"
Chuck began by sharing his earliest awareness of cohousing, as a young architect walking through the streets in Denmark. He noticed that in the communities he walked past every day, there was no life between the buildings, except one. That one was Chuck's first experience of cohousing and sparked his curiosity about design based in a practice of anthropological study and consciousness of opportunities for people to be near each other.
Chuck's process includes workshops for each of site design, common house, and unit design. In each case he begins by listening and learning the identity of the community. He creates a book of goals, activities and places that form the criteria for the design. Then he asks community members to work in small groups based on the criteria they have created to design the space in which a functioning society can live. The designs reflect the community the group aspires to become.
View the full WebChat here: