Re:Chuck& Katie
From: Merlin Porter-Borden (
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 1997 10:27:30 -0500
We brought in Katie & Chuck in 1989 to do a presentation, community
invited, at the County Commissioners meeting room. We used their
presentation as a kick-off for our group formation. It happened that
Chuck had to leave for an emergency meeting with local officials on the
Emeryville site, and Katie did the presentation. She had a cold at the
time, but came off with such power and assertiveness that we neophites
were indelibly inspired. She stayed at our home, and we had the
opportunity to pick her brains, at length. Her impact carries through to
We used Chuck for their std 3-day workshop on the Common House
programming and floor plans. We wanted a best effort, and we got it.
Every person in our group of 13 families (then) was impressed and
pleased, and we have some pretty critical judges (an experienced
architect, for one) in our group. Chuck has strength in childrens' space
design - I advise people to heed his advice (he's not a guy in a
A danger in common house design is the cutback from what the
designer created, w/o the cut-backs being orchestrated by the designer.
I have seen this happen to Chuck's work. Bad result, not his fault. We
are working hard to keep our Common House budget intact, and if we do
cut, we'll do it with architect oversight. 

The only negative item in Chuck's work with us: We stretched our CH work
by Chuck to include elevations. They were too contemporary for our
conservative area (as the first Cohousing development in this area, we
are trying to minimise our "differentness"). We should have been more
specific about our design expectations.
We at Liberty Village are advocates for using Katie (early in the
process) and Chuck.
Merlin, Libertytown, Maryland
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