Re: Private Unit Design - a cost/benefit question
From: lance millward (
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 19:00:07 -0700 (MST)
I dont know how many of the American cohousing communities have
residents drawn from their own geographical area?  Im uncertain about
the degree of recognition of place in the design of communities; local
designers and residents should have a better understanding of the
unique, local and microscale elements.  These things must be important
in the design of closer communities.  Im wondering about the place of
modular design in any form in closer community.  I can't imagine a
unifrom matrix being imposed on the design of private dwellings aiding
the relationships between residents.  Im not convinced that residence
sameness or diversity has no effect on closer relations.  Ive had this
idea suggested by my planning lecturers; that what we design has no
effect on the way people behave and interract.

The economic benefits of sameness in design can not be justified over
the long term health of residents.  I recall a mention of a danish
community in McCammant and Durretts text about cells of rental vs
intentially designed houses within the same community.   The intentially
designed cell functioning better because of the greater understanding of
those residents.  Also communities where open spaces are too large or
the placement of the commonhouse disparate suffered from disfunction.

I wonder about the role of designers/architects/planners in the design
of communities if the outcome is as predestined as it always has been in
the cities and suburbs of conventional society. I hope that it is the
very struggle for ideas that helps create a bond between residents that
spoonfeeding does not


Lance Magor Millward
Landscape Architecture Student

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