|Re: Programming the commonhouse||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Paul Conahan (pconahanumich.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 21:40:46 -0600|
Mac Thomson wrote: > I was curious about the message that you posted on coho-l recently. You > strongly recommended using a trained design facilitator to help with the > programming of the commonhouse and you also mentioned that you used > Chuck and Katy, but I didn't really hear you strongly recommend Chuck > and Katy specifically. We're planning to use them and I was wondering > if you were pleased with their work. Would you strongly recommend them? > What are their strengths? Their weaknesses? Yes, I STRONGLY recommend Chuck and Katy. I tried to stay neutral as to a specific recommendation in my posting because I didn't want to steal the fire from any other facillitators out there. On reflection, I guess it wouldn't have mattered much to be more opinionated. Chuck and Katy make an excellent team, and the way they split up the programming into Site and Commonhouse really plays to each of their strengths. Katy is a strong facillitator, which is especially essential for the site programming which typically happens first. Issues on parking got very heated (among many other issues), and Katy's firm but understanding facillitation helped enormously. Chuck is very laid back, which actually works well since people are pretty comfortable with the programming process by the time they get to Chuck. Also, it is easier to program the commonhouse since it is a true community building effort, whereas many aspects of site planning have large and direct effects on individual units (e.g., certain views and locations that people had their heart set on). The biggest strength of both Chuck and Katy is the breadth of experience they have from working and visiting with groups all over the country. I mentioned this in my original post, but it is truly assuring to know that you have direct access to such a wealth of information. And both Chuck and Katy are opinionated at the right time and will tell you when they think the group is about to make a design mistake, and can fully explain pros and cons based on other projects and feedback. Last piece of advice: Our group had a very loose implementation of consensus decision in place by the time we did our programming with Chuck and Katy. For example, most of us were not aware of the "Silence = Assent" rule. Make sure the ground rules of your decision making are all in place by the time the programming happens otherwise you may end up having to re-open numerous issues in which true consensus was not achieved. Good luck. I envy your group, I wish I could do the programming again. It was hard work, but incredibly satisfying, and ultimately added a rich layer of cohesion to our group. Paul Conahan Ann Arbor Cohousing -- http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pconahan/
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