Homes, houses and units
From: Mmariner (Mmarineraol.com)
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 12:35:06 -0500
Tom M said:

>>If all the cohousers refer to their houses/homes as units, how come the
Common House isn't called the Common Unit?

The words we use frequently tell us about our underlying values and/or
thought processes:

- A home is dwelling where the people and resources we hold most dear reside
-- the place we gravitate to and are nourished by -- the place we belong.

- A house is simply the physical structure.

-  A unit is even less personal, warm and inviting than house.  I'm guessing
cohouser's use of "unit" derives from their being involved with the
architects, consultants and site planners as the site is programmed and
developed.  At this pre-built, conceptual stage, unit is a useful word to
refer to -- the residential *units* but since there is only one common
*house* it doesn't get called a "unit."

Let's have a NAME THE UNIT game or contest - perhaps find a new word to use
even during the development process so that human values and feeling are not
lost or de-emphasized.  

Once people are moved in and their spirit and individuality take over,
obviously the best word is "home."

So what characteristics should we look for when thinking of a better word for
unit?

-  A warmer, more natural, more appealing connotation;
..
-  A feeling of being a part of the whole -- like seeds in a pod or or pods
on a plant;

-  A feeling of being harmoniously designed, not just thrown together to
optimize somebody's profit margin like non-cohousing suburbs frequently are.

-  ___________ other?

Other characteristics?  Suggestions for replacements for "unit?"  Somebody
got a prize to offer? Don or Zev, how about a little sidebar in Cohousing
Journal about rethinking cohousing jargon?

Any other cohousing jargon that could be improved?  I think "site
*programming*" is a bit cold and calculating sounding, tho I think i
understand why just "design" is not descriptive enough.  (Because all the
patterns of living on the site need to be "programmed", right?)

Michael M
Boulder
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