Ceilings and Dinners
From: Judy Baxter (BAXTERepivax.epi.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 10:31:01 -0500
Paul Kilduff wrote:
<<It occurs to me that an objective study would include the questions:  
How high is your dining room ceiling; Is it designed according to good
acoustical principles; How many common meals do you have per week; and
What percentage of your residents attend any given common meal.  

With enough respondents, a graph could be made, correlating those
factors, and answering the question, what is the effect of ceiling
height on attendance at common meals?  

I take it that attendance at common meals is the most significant
measure of the success of a common dining room's design.

As one who is involved in lots of epidemiological studies with many variables,
I can't resist chiming in here.  I think ceiling height is just one of many
many variables that impact attendance at common meals.  The  ones that come to
mind from my experience and perceptions are (not in a particular order):
1-introvert/extrovert .  Some people are more interested in common meals.
2-acoustics - noisy meals are definitely off-putting.  Someday, I hope, we'll
improve our dining room ceiling, hopefully ideas from this list will help, but
right now other projects come 1st
3-schedules - people's busy lives and jobs that are (in my mind) too demanding
and inflexible
4-diets, allergies, food sensitivities
5-community dynamics

So, # 2 is very important, but not the only thing.  


Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community,(MoCoCo) Twin Cities Area, Mpls.,MN
-- e-mail:      baxter [at] epivax.epi.umn.edu  (division of epidemiology)
        (usually checked on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday)
15 homes - 7 new townhomes and 8 coop apartments  in a rehab Georgian building
 built as a retirement home in 1924 - 

 Voice Mail for Monterey Cohousing - 612-930-7554

Enjoying the weather (knock on wood, our trees were'nt hit very hard by recent
severe storms) and our courtyard and grounds.  This has been a wonderful spring
and summer beginning - got to admit, our tunnel and common house in winter
ain't the same as the courtyard and long days!  I raked grass clippings for the
joy of it yesterday!
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