|trends in redesigning houses for privacy & togetherness||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Hans Tilstra (tilstrasmartchat.net.au)|
|Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 18:55:49 -0700 (PDT)|
Originally, cohousing designs included the suggestion that people should be able to trade rooms, as their housing needs expanded or contracted. So, a retired couple might decide to sell an adjacent bedroom to the neighbours, who were looking for a larger house. The building design of cohousing should accommodate the feasibility of replacing a door with a soundproof wall, or putting a door into a wall. Whilst few cohousing designs seem to have adopted this idea, an article in today's Sunday Age (Melbourne, Australia) flags the potential need for this flexibility in design. . In this article Angela Neustatter (writing in "Sunday Life" 18 July 2004) raises questions about trends in managing privacy & togetherness, with potential links to cohousing. She brings together some of the ideas of the following authors: Sue Heath, co-author of "Young, Free And Single" looked at the accommodation choices of people in their mid-20s. A lot of them preferred to share a home with friends, not partners, because they understood the tensions that being too on top of each other can bring. I think there is a strong sense of the tension between independence and partnership. But even though they may be choosing different ways to build a relationship, most of the young people we interviewed had traditional aspirations and wanted a committed relationship with roots when the time was right." In her book Rethinking Families, based on a five-year study, UK social policy professor Fiona Williams looks at how new domestic arrangements are affecting family values. Far from fuelling the pro-family campaigners who see moral collapse in today's trends, Williams argues that the desire to make relationships endure is as strong as ever. "One of the things that people have become very aware of is the need for personal space," she says, leading to new forms of separate togetherness. Janet Reibstein, a psychologist and author of a study of happy marriages The Best-Kept Secret (to he published next year) found that "The couples who have survived the long haul best are those who are conscious of the need to keep their relationship alive and vibrant and recognise what they need to do to achieve this. "They might well follow their own pursuits and they don't begrudge each other separateness. But they also want time together. Being able to talk and communicate feelings and needs to each other, as well as wanting to make the other happy, comes up over and over again." Penny Mansfield, director of One Plus One, a British marriage research organisation, warns that putting too much focus on creating distance in a relationship is risky. "If one partner announces he or she wants separate space and the other has thought they were doing fine being very together, it can feel rejecting." And then there is the question, she suggests, of where the parameters are. Is this an open relationship or still sexually exclusive? Does it involve meal times together? Will financial sacrifice be involved? "Couples have to be good at communicating and caring for their relationship to introduce a fairly radical new shape." any thoughts? Hans http://home.vicnet.net.au/~cohouse
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