Re: "Dentists Collectives"
From: Dirk Herr-Hoyman (
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 11:34:45 -0800 (PST)
Methinks this epithet has multiple forms in multiple languages.

This is essentially a generic criticism my wife has had of the
various co-housing projects we've looked at over the past few years.
BTW, can you lend me your flame retardant undies, Ryan, I could
have used them in this conversation :-)

I would like to see more coho projects that hit at a lower cost
level, as I see this as a sustainability issue.  Sure, maybe it's
ok for a while for this to be a middle-upper income and up adventure,
but if one looks for a broader socialogical impact (as I do), then it
must spread to lower cost models.

I did take a look at the "Green Communities Grants" from the Enterprise
Foundation folks in Wash DC
and I like the way they are thinking. This could have some broader impact!

Locally, I've been tangentially associated with one Habitat for Humanity
project, a "woman's build" that my wife and daughter partcipated in. This was but one house in a larger subdivision development and Habitat was doing several other houses in this same block. I kept thinking this would have
been a good opportunity to do a co-housing style project.

I'm also interested in infill style projects.  We aren't going to grow
any more land, after all.  Can we either reuse some current buildings or
redevelop some already developed area? That would fit with the Green Communities


On Dec 30, 2004, at 10:25 AM, Ryan Young wrote:

On Dec 29, 2004, at 10:46 AM, Ryan Young wrote:

, and we end up with the "Dentists Collectives" that were one of the
original Danish criticisms of Co-Housing.

I"m not familiar with the "Dentists Collectives". Can you elaborate?


This was a term I found in either the original McCamant/Durret book "Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach To Housing Ourselves" or perhaps in the earliest articles in Whole Earth Review on CoHousing. This satiric barb implied that only dentists or other professionals could afford to live in this type of upscale commune. NOTE: I do not, myself, support this idea. I will nonetheless don my Nomex underwear, in anticipation of the flame attacks that repeating this nearly 30 year old insult will subject me to <it was better in the original Danish, no doubt>.

Ah, I found it., page 138, talking about the earliest developments in CoHousing in Denmark, around the early 1970's:

"These early cohousing communities were practical first steps toward the ideals put forth by Gudmund-Hoyer and Bodil Graae, but they were never considered the embodiment of all that cohousing could be. From the perspective of the ongiingin youthful protest movement, these were nothing more than nice suburban developments for people who could afford private ownership. One Danish architecture professor called them "dentist collectives," referring to the many professionals who lived in the first cohousing communities."

  • "Dentists Collectives" Ryan Young, December 30 2004
    • Re: "Dentists Collectives" Dirk Herr-Hoyman, December 30 2004

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