Re: Private use of Common Space
From: Dahako (Dahakoaol.com)
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2005 10:08:58 -0700 (PDT)
Hi- 
 
I think it is a misconception to think of the commonhouse rooms as an  
extension of your personal space, with the only difference being the need to  
check 
scheduling.  Common space is not individual space, and it is not  general 
public space open to a heterogeneous community, like a public library  
community 
room.  It is a kind of public space managed by the small, more or  less 
homogenous community you live in.  
 
Looked at that way, of course you need to have more or less formalized  
schedules and common agreements on how to share the space.
 
My biggest disagreement with the viewpoint that common space is an  extension 
of individual space is that leads quite a few people (in my  experience, 
mostly those inclined to introversion) to guard common space from  "strangers" 
the 
same way they protect their private space.  And, to me, the  commonhouse is a 
place for not only the residents of the cohousing community to  come 
together, but a place where managed interactions (including parties,  
workshops, 
music, meetings) with the greater public community can happen --  early and 
often.  
There are so few spaces in American life where this sort  of secular 
community meeting can happen anymore outside of a commercial  setting.  To my 
mind, 
the idea of actively used commonhouse space is one of  cohousing's great gifts 
to the world.
 
mu two cents-
Jessie Handforth Kome
Eastern Village Cohousing
Silver Spring, MD
"Where we just got Friday night commonmeals started.  Still hoping for  a 
stove."

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