It takes a village.
Charles Durrett is an architect often credited with introducing the concept of cohousing to the United States through his co-authored book, Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves. Over a number of years, he has built a career around this idea - one he was introduced to as a student in Copenhagen. These Danish housing projects captured his imagination enough that he set about bringing this novel idea to the U.S. Today, Charles oversees The Cohousing Company, which designs cohousing projects for many kinds of clients. A typical design includes densely packed cottages of 30 or so homes that form a 'village,' with a liberal sprinkling of communal areas and amenities, occupied by people who want to live co-operatively. The historical idea of planned communal ‘villages’ in the U.S. is not totally new – you have everything from worker housing to the freeform communes of the 1960s and 70s. But Charles has taken it further, inspired by the Danish model and adding in a dash of the principles of New Urbanism. Most interestingly, Charles describes himself as more of an anthropologist than an architect because every design begins with a deep dive into the psyche of the 30 families that plan to live together. Only once he understands how they want to live their lives, does he embark on the process of designing the physical place. If you'd like to join me in my quest to rethink real estate, there are two simple things you can do. Share this podcast or go to Patreon.com/rethinkrealestate to learn about special opportunities for my friends and followers and subscribe if you can.