Research

We are pleased to have received interest in our project from a number of students and academics, some of whom are listed below:

 

Co-housing Shared Futures – 2016

This ESRC funded research project into cohousing features the Open House Project in it’s publication cohousing_shared_futures_final-web

You can read more about it in our blog post 

 

Amanda Holden – Degree Dissertation 2013

Mandy spent a day with us in the early stages of our project, discussing our approach to cohousing. The following is an extract from the case study that Mandy developed about the Open House project:

“The Open House Project was selected, as an example of the initiation process in the contemporary climate. The current members of the Open House Project are the combination of two extended family groups, signalling a return to deeply traditional modes of living. In fact ‘in many respects, cohousing is not a new concept. In the past, most people lived in villages or tightly knit urban neighbourhoods’. The Open House Project are fully aware of the context of cohousing in the UK. Founder member, Leo is an architect and works at the Sheffield School of Architecture, but they are not thoroughly engrained within it, having only made contact with the Sheffield Cohousing Network in March 2014. Leo referenced the RIBA Silver Linings Report, as articulating the values that brought them together as initiators. It documented living closer to family and friends as a contemporary aspiration and increasing necessity in the context of an ageing population, astronomical childcare costs and financial barriers for first time buyers. This presents cohousing as a reactionary force, rather than a burgeoning typology.

“If cohousing hadn’t have existed this could well have happened within our family and we probably would have all joined even if it wasn’t called cohousing. It wouldn’t have mattered really.” Joe

The Open House Project The drive behind the movement can form a viable contemporary impetus for the self-initiation, but can also be a limited to those who are part of an active, if dispersed, family group. Architecturally associated with a return to the vernacular, evolutionary built environment in which ‘families are able to extend and remain within the same location rather than moving on, or ‘up’ the housing market ladder’, is a trend that might be seen to present a disconnect from the role of the architect, fitting more naturally with an independent grassroots approach to development.

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