Re: Do cohousers care about "bricks and sticks"?
From: Elizabeth Stevenson (
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 14:23:06 -0700 (MST)
Howard, NO!!!

I never said that. Please go back and read it again.


> From: Howard Landman <howard [at]>
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 11:12:43 -0800 (PST)
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_Do cohousers care about "bricks and sticks"?
> Elizabeth Stevenson said:
>>> the BRICKS AND STICKS of the community ...
>>> Who really cares about that stuff? --
> Racheli wrote:
>> I care about "bricks and sticks",and so do many cohousers.  In fact,
>> anyone who cares about environmental issues should.
> I have to say that I agree with Racheli.  I care passionately about
> the physical environment of cohousing, although perhaps with a different
> emphasis.  I believe that the design of the community can have an immense
> impact on the day-to-day functioning of it.  Even something as simple as
> having the common house in the middle versus on one end can make a huge
> difference.
> I completely redesigned the main floor of my unit because I thought
> that the consensed-on floorplan had serious problems.  I'm happy with
> the results, but some of my neighbors are now a little unhappy that
> theirs were done the other way.  For example, my living room is a full
> 3 feet wider than the original floorplan, *without* taking away much of
> anything of value (basically I straightened out a bent staircase).
> Good architecture is like poetry, with multiple meanings and uses
> packed in to a single feature, and everything resonating in harmony.
> Bad architecture is like bad poetry, full of clunkers and incoherencies
> and things that make you wonder why anyone would ever have chosen to do
> that.  And you have to live with it every day.  A single misplaced
> light switch can be an ongoing source of frustration for years.
> If the physical design is meaningless, try taking a standard suburban
> neighborhood and making cohousing there.  (I know, it's been done, but
> it can be so much better if designed well from the beginning with
> cohousing in mind.)
> In any coho group you're going to have some people who care a lot
> about some particular aspect, and others who care about other things.
> This is good and healthy.  It means there will be people to work on
> the landscaping and people to wire up the computer network, people
> to garden and people to make drapes, people to stock the CH kitchen
> and people to do the accounting.  You need all of these.  I think
> a community has to have some aspects of "similarity and agreement",
> but also some aspects of "difference and organic interdependence".
> It's OK if some people think the "bricks and sticks" are meaningless,
> as long as there are others who know otherwise.  We don't all have to
> do everything (thank goodness!).
> Howard A. Landman
> River Rock Commons
> Fort Collins CO
> P.S. A *third* cohousing group is just starting to form in Ft. Collins!
> I'll post info sometime soon.
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