Re: community design
From: Shedrick Coleman (
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 94 07:36 CST
In message Wed, 16 Nov 94 16:54 CST,
  g.meltzer [at] (Graham Meltzer)  writes:

> As I said, I have experience of both building and architectural design.
> As a result I always design with buildibility in mind. That doesn't mean
> however, that the most expedient, cost-effective design strategies are
> the best. Again, it's qualities and subtleties that architects work with
> ... and sometimes, not always, that incurs a cost premium. This does not
> mean that the process of architectural design need be mysterious. If your
> architect deserves any criticism, it's that he failed to communicate to
> you the value of having the walls at 6 foot 6, so that you could better
> decide if it was worth the $500.
> And that's where the title of this thread comes in. Community design where
> architects are involved, is about demystification of the design process
> and a debunking of the traditional architect's role as artist-genius ...
> remote and unchallenged. In a cohousing context, it's an empowering of
> the group ... both by the architect and the group itself ... such that
> members feel involved in the design process and in a position to make
> critical decisions WITH the architect. Not many architects are prepared
> to step down from there pedestals in this way, nor incur the loss of
> income that such time consuming processes incur. But they are around and
> it seems to me, almost essential for cohousers to seek them out or
> forever feel that they don't own the design of their physical
> environment.
> Graham Meltzer

Well done! I don't think that architect's needed defending per se, but the
realities of responsibity between the architect and cohousing client
accepted.  I hope the your insight proves beneficial to groups in their
future selection of an architect and helps them to establish realisitc
expectations.  All must understand that if your ultimate goal is
co-operation, it should be a part of all aspects of your cohousing
experience, especially the design of your future habitation.
W. Shedrick Coleman, AIA                |W. Shedrick Coleman, Architects
Architect                               |130 Brandlewood Drive
Facilities Planning & Space Utilization |Savannah, Georgia 31405
Georgia Southern University             |(912) 232-7233
Statesboro, Georgia                     |
shedarch [at]            |

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