Cohousing as a way of living concerns more about community and people. Residents have their regular private home with normal stuff and they have more shared space and facilities such as workshop, common room and gardens. Cohousing is always a supportive community which also offers greater opportunities for residents to design their own home. source:http://www.cohousing.org.uk/files/ukcn_leaflet_2013_0.pdf
Therefore, design in a cohousing community is always important not only because it it community made discussions, but also because it requires more consideration on key issues such as the balance of privacy and public, children security, and affordability. Common housing in a cohousing community is always the place where reflects the community demands. A whole community participation is always required in designing a common house. One fundamental design principles for common house is to offer a kitchen and dining room which can adopt large group of people cooking and eating together. The rest of rooms could be designed for other uses that are in demands such as guest room, baby care, studio, workshop, library and craft room. In general, common room should where to stay local residents and to meeting the local demands.
However, serious considerations as mentioned above should also be taken into account when designing a cohousing community. In order to achieve a balance between privacy and public, landscaping is always a mean to weaken the conflicts. landscaping in a cohousing community is always where gathering people as meeting point and talk to each other. It is also a physical and visual barrier to keep the privacy. Children need to be secured by designing the playgroup in the middle and surrounded by all housing units for neighbours` seeing. Cohousing requires affordability as well. Reuse of local materials using solar panels. Smaller house is also required as it costs less needs less energy.
Designing a cohousing community not only require considerations of designing a normal housing type but also further needs more considerations on other elements such as greater social sense, and management.