Summary for ‘Saving space, sharing time: integrated infrastructures of daily Life in cohousing’ (Group 5–Post by Beem)


With the demand of fast growing population and changes of the family structure, as well as the growing interest in cohousing, there is a trend of communal dining in the work centred culture with isolation and hurricanes feeling.

 Cohousing has the unique feature is that has greater scope for mutuality, cooperation, reciprocity, and exchange than the household; another is more routinely interconnected than the conventional street or apartment block. As a privatised public space, the common space is used as daily living.

 However, there are some reasons for the neglected living experience of cohousing, one is that the impact on social policy and urban planning has been determined by developers and new urbanism. Another is that it is the method of co-work of society and institutions, and the difference from other new social movements is colocation.

 There is a theory of “pockets” and “projects”, projects can be the shorter or longer plan for meal or building houses, and this is shaped by individuals, and pockets represent the local culture and habits or moral aspects. Besides, Braudel argues every phenomena have their own temporal phases, Bergson more likely to highlight the liquidity and flexibility of time. Besides, it is important to learn, to respect the multiplicity of rhythms. It is the community engagement of public space and time.

5876187443_9cb17aa484           Fig 1
ideabook_diagram_semipublic           Fig 2

Cohousing increases the types of public and semi-public space, designers use user engagement to make spaces reasonable, participatory practices can cultivate public time of engagement and learning for people, the shift work will increase the social response and social transformation. But collective living does not means the leisure time or reduction of house work, but through protecting environment and volunteer service as well as community activity to gain more active.

 There is a long history of people sharing physical spaces and community activities in social settlements and co-working. Designers need to aware the external ecology and residential, community, and the seasons of growing. An important distinction typically made in cohousing, is the absence of a shared economy. There are about 4000 households living in USA, and about 5% of Danish households, but there are only 300 households in UK.

Cohousing opens up different temporalities in the moral codes, social spaces, and practical systems of sharing facilitated by the infrastructures of daily life in these particular settings. But these infrastructures are not for people to avoid reality, but to become more inspirational, changing with the time, changing people to learn. The mobilisation of local information and communication technologies is widespread in cohousing, and is used among collocated residents to increase face to face social interaction.


Fig 3

Every family will increase their trust and better impression through spending some public time. The infrastructures developed to support large communal meals also cultivate a unique rhythm. It is not only plan a meal, but also involves social and physical activities.

The interpersonal relations and historical memories of the group project development is not only the temporal phase, but also represents past and future.


Fig 1: Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space., 2011. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 8 February 2015]

Fig 2: An Idea Book for Placemaking: Semi-public Zone., 2009. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 8 February 2015]

Fig 3: An Idea Book for Placemaking: Semi-public Zone., 2009. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 8 February 2015]

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