Cohousing: Social Interaction target

sketchup-3_co-housing

More and More countries and places are supporting the development of more sustainable neighborhood, more activity means more livable. Besides, neighborhoods can help the redevelopment of local society. Social interaction will bring the knowledge of residents, and social structure. Also, this will make residents build up the trust with each other, and make the conversation begin and enhance the social network connection. So it is very important that the new residential neighbourhoods are designed with the point of increasing social connection.

bristol_cohousing_web_03
Source: Source: http://www.white-design.com/consultancy/bristol-co-housing/
Cohousing provides a very useful model of anlysis for its design with social contact and formal social stuctures to encourage residential neighborhood social interaction, such as community management and communal activity organizations, and decision making processes.
The design approach used in cohousing also adopts most of the architectural and urban design principles identified in the literature as being crucial to high levels of social interaction in neighbourhoods (for example higher densities, good visibility, clustering, inclusion of defensible space and car parking on the periphery of communities, etc.). Thus, cohousing also provides an opportunity to study the implementation of all of these principles together to determine which are key or less important in
terms of encouraging social interaction.
The management of indoor communal facilities was also shown to influence usage and social interaction. The exclusion of residents from communal facilities for private events was highlighted in both communities as being a factor that reduced social interaction, as it created conflict and lowered use of communal facilities by those who were excluded. Poor maintenance of communal spaces wasalso shown to reduce use and social interaction.

eastnode-social

Source: https://www.google.com.hk/search?q=cohousing&safe=strict&client=aff-cs-360se&hs=Fzg&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Xd1ZVbPONsWMsgGX8YGwCQ&ved=0CCoQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=577#imgrc=FD6ekOjnQP8jtM%253A%3BzToutGphyNtANM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fcohousing-cultures.net%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2012%252F09%252Fplatform.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fcohousing-cultures.net%252Fcohousing-platform%252F%253Flang%253Den%3B450%3B251

More and More countries and places are supporting the development of more sustainable neighborhood, more activity means more livable. Besides, neighborhoods can help the redevelopment of local society. Social interaction will bring the knowledge of residents, and social structure. Also, this will make residents build up the trust with each other, and make the conversation begin and enhance the social network connection. So it is very important that the new residential neighbourhoods are designed with the point of increasing social connection.
Resident participation in decision-making processes is thought to increase levels of social interaction within communities and thus strengthen social networks. However, the research showed that in both communities resident involvement in the decision-making processes had also created conflict. Design decisions had created some of the biggest conflicts in both communities.

Referece:
Jo Williams (2005) Designing Neighbourhoods for Social Interaction: The Case of Cohousing, Journal of Urban Design, 10:2, 195-227

Hexham Colorful Village: Final Design

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After All the process we went through, Finally, this final design created. The first thing we did when thinking of the design of this neighborhood was determining the appropriate area for cohousing, social housing and private housing. After some discussion, we decided to create co-housing on the west side of the site because the surface of this part is relatively flat and also this area get a lot of sunlight. Then, the social and private housing placed in the eastern side. We do not distinguish the specific area for social and private housing because we think those two things could be combined without having to be separated.

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Then, we started to think about how to connect these two zones. Our initial idea was to encourage every inhabitant of this neighborhood to walk more than using vehicles. Therefore, to connect those two zones we create a pedestrian road from east to west and south to north, with the center of activity in the open space of the co-housing. We want to make the area of co-housing become the main area of neighborhood.

Another thing that must be considered is how to make an exciting journey for the occupants. The thing we do is make the U-shaped layout to housing Group which is in the middle of a residential area so that public areas can be formed on the inside of that housing group. There are three pieces of public space in the form of small park that can be used by the residents to do anything. In addition, we also provide some different “pockets of activity” for the inhabitants in order to make the trip became more interesting. That “Pockets” will be outdoor exercise area, playground area and bench with colorful flower around it.

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We also intentionally do not provide parking space in the unit as a way to encourage residents to walk inside the neighborhood. However, we understand that the parking area is an important thing. Therefore, we provide some parking spots which is scattered inside the neighborhood where the spots are connected properly and within the distance that can still be tolerated,

Finally, colorful village is a big dream. In this design, we expect an lively and vibrant area can be formed so that the Elderly people which inhabit in this area do not feel lonely anymore. Not only of colorful buildings, but also from some design which I described earlier.

Colorful Village Project – Study Cases

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After all the site analysis completed, the design process will begin. The Selection of some study cases which meets the requirements is one of the process. Study cases are expected to help the designer to develop an empty land that has been given into a complete housing neighborhood design.

In this study cases, we observe two important things that we think are useful for further design process. The first is the layout of the housing group itself and the corner of the housing group that often become a problem if not thought out carefully.

The Staiths, Gateshead

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Source : http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk

From the case the study above, the thing that attract my attention is about how they create a layout for the housing group. The way chosen by the designer is y arranging few houses become a U-shape as shown above because here is no unit in its southern part. By doing this way, there are two things that can happen.

1. Each unit of this grouping can get the same light intensity because sunlight will be more to come from the south. Thus, the use of the heater will be reduced and the room becomes not too humid.

2. There is an empty land in that area of ‘U’ grouping which can be used as an open public space. The place can not only be used by residents, but also by the people that are around.

Pilot Project, Guatemala

PrintSource : http://pilotprojects.adu2020.org

For this case study from Guatemala, the interesting thing to be noted is about the way they design a linear housing. In this case, they do not  normal linier housing, but they shift each unit in the grouping to one side as illustrated above.

In this way, every unit in that housing linear housing can get the same light intensity. In contrast to the usual conventional linier housing that the front row unit are the only unit which can get full sunlight.

Brownhills, West Midlands

 PrintSource : https://brownhillsbob.files.wordpress.com

Lastly, designing each corner of a housing group is not an easy thing. Sometimes, we need a special strategy for that part if we does not want to get any problems later on.

From the case study in the West Midlands, the strategy they do to every corner of the housing group is making the unit into an access and service area. A gate that can be used by every person to access the backyard of any units.

rom all of those study cases that have been described above, help us to improve our design to the next stage.After this, we get into the actual design. From the concept to the final design. I will try to describe in my next post. However, I have to wait because there is still a possibility of changes. After the final design accepted by the tutor, I will share it here for the discussion that helps us to make a better final design.

References:

CABE (n.d) Staiths South Bank – Gateshead [online] Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110118095356/http://www.cabe.org.uk/case-studies/staiths-south-bank? photos=true&viewing=4437 [ACCESSED 25th March 2015]

ADU 2020 Pilot Projects (n.d) Social Housing As A Response Towards Worthy Housing [online] Available at: http://pilotprojects.adu2020.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/TWH_FINAL_PROPOSAL1.jpg [Accessed 25th March 2015]

Brownhills Bob (2012) New Homes Planned for Brownhills [online] Available at: https://brownhillsbob.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/iooiu1.png  [Accessed 25th March 2015]