Architecture Real professionalism Re: Affordable Cohousing
From: Wayne Tyson (
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 13:00:13 -0800 (PST)
Bums and bozos can describe "developers" too, and any "economies" theoretically realized tend to line said B&B's pockets at the expense of quality work. That shoddy, careless work, has become a new set-point for the construction industry got started in the post-war building boom of the 1940's and has worsened into a tangled web of institutionalized incompetence that blood-sucks its clients at every level, even up through the ranks of architects.

I don't place all of the blame on the "industry." The skills still present in the 1940's are gone, and their legacy has not been preserved. It's too late. The truly professional (putting the work first and the buck second) is dead. With the rise of the sales pitch and dream-merchants, quality declined as "appearance" became dominant. "Consumers" swallowed the doughballs hook, line, and sinker, and the last nail was driven into the coffins of the true professionals/craftspeople long ago.

The only way this age can be resuscitated in some reasonable form is for professionals to start putting the work ahead of the buck, and for the "consumers" to demand real quality in fundamental and finish work. One place to start is contracts written in collaboration with real architects and end-users.

Flim-flammery marches on . . .


----- Original Message ----- From: "Sharon Villines" <sharon [at]>
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Monday, December 31, 2012 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Affordable Cohousing

On Dec 31, 2012, at 3:16 PM, R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]> wrote:

This is my long-winded way of saying I don't really believe that the design and construction industry features only bums and bozos who must be monitored every minute of the day. Nor that, reno or new, you can't get a quality product. You CAN get a quality product. Just not at a rock-bottom price.

I'm not saying that they are all bums and bozos or that you can't get quality work but the idea that new construction will will be all clean and working perfectly and a retrofit building won't is a misconception worthy of a Snopes listing. I think very few potential cohousers have the skills to determine in advance who is a bum or a bozo -- or even to write specifications and understand all the bids. That's why they need an experienced developer. It saves time, money, and grief -- all factors affecting affordability. And doability.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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