Re: Robs Conference Report
From: Mark Ottenberg (
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 94 20:51 CST
On Tue, 18 Oct 1994, Rob Sandelin wrote:

> 4.  I spent a lot of time talking and listening to architects.  
> (Sharingwood is looking for one to do our second phase).  The ones I 
> talked with and listened to are very much building centric.  The best 
> designs and designers are people centric.
> 5.  If cohousing is going to grow and expand it has to be made easier.  
> We will need to develop competent professionals to do the hard part 
> (the land development stuff) for us and spent much more time as future 
> residents building our personal relationships rather than being land 
> developers. This is beginning to happen.

My wife, Elizabeth, and I are recent associate members of Commonweal 
(Boston area).  ne of te first things my wife has brought up is that she 
sees the cohousing process as greatly improvable in the following way:

Cohousing goups could greatly benefit from an "entity" that exists solely 
to help with the mechanics of residential design.  This would include 
creatomg and keeping databases of suitable land, architects, financing, 
legal persons, land prep and layout contractors, persons skilled at 
zoning and other such processes, advertizing cohousing groups during 
their various stages or growth and residence resale, etc, etc.  So far, 
there is a small amount of this going on (The Cohousing Center in 
Boston).  However, more comprehensive (non-profit??) organizations would 
greatly aid in cohousing community design and allow more time for 
cohousing members to do the real work that they should be doing ... 
discovering, developing, expanding, and living community (communitism??)

Anyway, I for one can see the belefits of splitting the process some more 
into these two parts.  I say some more, not totally!!  The striving of a 
group toward goals still has some use ... ;-)

                                        -- Mark Ottenberg 
                                           (a systems engineer who is 
                                           currently specilizing in the
                                           design of social systems!)

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