Re: Church Conversion Retrofit Cohousing Panel for National Conference in NC
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:30:02 -0800 (PST)
Having "forged a social dynamic" as one of the developers of a community that 
was less than half full at the end of construction....

And now creating new community that includes everyone...

I think that "you must design" is highly over-rated. To be clear I loved doing 

But you can't do it with a huge group, and it creates a social dynamic that 
ends up feeling ownership of design decisions which were not all perfect. And 
its harder to be inclusive of everyone if one third of the folk always remember 
what we were "going to do back in the day".

I'm not arguing against groups designing their own space, just against the idea 
that that is BEST. 

Its just different in my view.

(The Rev.) Elizabeth M. Magill

On Nov 12, 2014, at 1:47 PM, R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]> wrote:

> True in its way, but … As the founders cycle away (and they all will), and 
> newcomers rotate in, what the newcomers are buying, at that point, is not the 
> architectural vision, but rather an established social dynamic … which, as 
> you correctly point out, they will soon start to influence (we hope).  But 
> the shared experience of designing and developing a project forges a day one 
> social dynamic that cannot be readily simulated by strangers moving in among 
> strangers and saying “Hi, how do YOU think we should do cohousing?”
> PS: I used to do residential design and construction, mostly for married 
> couples, and either they decided that designing one’s own home was one of the 
> great adventures of their lives, or they got divorced.
> Arizona weather can’t be beat.
>> On Nov 12, 2014, at 1:24 PM, Mary Ann Clark <drmaryann49 [at]> wrote:
>> Mary Ann here:
>> But isn't it true that everyone who joins the community after the founders 
>> has to live with someone else's vision of what the community will be like?
>> Isn't also true that every new member changes the dynamics of the community, 
>> so even the vision of the founders isn't stable?
>> Mary Ann, Manzanita Village where we're enjoying warm days and cool night -- 
>> sorry those of you in the mid-west and further east.
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