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      COMMUNITY BY DESIGN, BY THE PEOPLE: SOCIAL APPROACH TO DESIGNING AND PLANNING COHOUSING AND ECOVILLAGE COMMUNITIES

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          INTRODUCTION

          Synthesis Studio is an architectural, planning, and design consultancy practice, led by Barbora Baloghova and Gilo Holtzman, who work independently, developing each one's interests and expertise while collaborating on various projects under the Synthesis Studio Brand. The studio's mission is to excel in environmentally and socially sustainable building and planning practices, by research, design, and policy advocacy, and through collaboration with other professionals.

          In creating a community that works in harmony and reciprocity to its natural environment, we approach each site as an ecological system. Thus, the site layout and building design should perform in harmony with its surrounding environment and the needs of its future residents. For example, when planning and designing residential areas and buildings, we use research and implement the appropriate technologies in regard to waste management (grey water, composting, effluent) together with the form, location, orientation, shading, and social needs.

          Designing and planning places for people is a challenge. On the one hand, if prospective residents are not engaged in shaping their future residence, it means that places are created based on preconceived notions of how people ought to live, or how they should use a place or a space. On the other hand, working with many prospective residents means that an architect also needs to act as a facilitator, navigating through diverse thoughts and ideas and then translating them into physical form. The latter is achieved by prioritizing and understanding the importance of engaging with the community at various levels, from the group process of running meetings and decision-making to planning and design workshops. The overall aim is to demonstrate a range of planning and architectural solutions for progressive residential models both in rural and urban settings. The encouragement of a participatory process means that each participant/stakeholder becomes an important contributor to the planning and design process, and has some role in decision-making and is extremely important in achieving the best design for our immediate home and neighborhood environments. This process has been aptly named ‘community by design and by the people.’

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          Most cited references 3

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          “Housing for People of All Ages”

           C. Schittich (2007)
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            “Housing for People of All Ages”

             C. Schittich (2007)
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              “Sustainable neighbourhoods: the cohousing model”

               G. Holtzman (2012)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jgrb
                College Publishing
                Journal of Green Building
                College Publishing
                1552-6100
                1943-4618
                1943-4618
                Summer 2014
                : 9
                : 3
                : 60-82
                Author notes

                1Gilo Holtzman, Mast. Architecture (UNSW) is a partner in Synthesis Studio, www.synthesisstudio.org.

                Article
                jgb.9.3.60
                10.3992/1943-4618-9.3.60
                ©2014 by College Publishing. All rights reserved.
                Page count
                Pages: 23
                Product
                Categories
                INDUSTRY CORNER

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