New Graduate Program to Sponsor Cohousing Symposia at Moore

For Immediate Release
September 18, 2009

(Philadelphia, PA) Moore is pleased to host its inaugural Graduate Symposia: Cohousing: Building Sustainable and Intentional Communities, a free day-long program on October 10, 2009. The symposia, sponsored by the Interior Design Graduate Program at Moore, includes discussion and discovery about the history, theories and practice of creating and living in cohousing.

The Cohousing Symposia will cover the concepts and practicalities of cohousing in the United States and features Charles Durrett, architect and author of the seminal text on cohousing, as the keynote speaker. Other leaders in the field Tom Bath, Laura Fitch, Scott Kelly, Jackie O’Neil, and Donald E. Tucker will each discuss specific components and aspects of cohousing communities. The afternoon will be divided into two sessions of afternoon workshops with the speakers expanding upon the morning presentations.

Charles Durrett  has designed over 40 cohousing communities in North America and has consulted on many more around the world. A leading cohousing architect, Durrett is credited with coining the term “cohousing” and together with his wife Kathryn McCamant McCamant, introduced cohousing projects to America. Durrett and  McCamant have won numerous awards, including the United Nations World Habitat Award and the Best of 50+ Housing Award (National Home Builders Association 2008). Durret is the author of three books on the topic, Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living his most recent was published this spring by New Society Publishers.

With its roots in Denmark in the early seventies, cohousing communities first surfaced in the US in the 1990s. Cohousing is described as intergenerational neighborhoods created by residents to efficiently meet their needs, wants and desires for a mutually beneficial environment for raising children or growing older. Enhancing a common quality of life and living lighter on the planet are two goals of the movement that have attracted young families, single parents, singles and retired couples to this housing option. Since 1972, nearly 400 projects have been completed in Denmark. Since 1990, nearly 100 intergenerational communities and three elder communities have been created in the United States.

The Interior Design Graduate Program at Moore is one of three new co-educational graduate programs launched by the College this summer. The symposia Cohousing: Building Sustainable and Intentional Communities at Moore College of Art & Design, October 10, 9 am to 5 pm is free and open to the public. Seating is limited so RSVP is recommended. For information or to register go to www.moore.edu.

Moore College of Art & Design, the nation's first and only women's art college, celebrates 160 years of educating women for careers in the visual arts. New coeducational graduate programs will expand Moore’s unique career-focused mission and student-focused environment. These features combined with the professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with nine majors and beginning in Summer 2009, will offer three Master’s degrees. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, continuing education programs for professional adults, the acclaimed Young Artists Workshop for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit www.moore.edu.

Media Contact:
Amanda Mott
Director of Communications
215-965-4068
amott@moore.edu
   
About The Workshops:  1:30 – 4:15 PM
Each conference participant will have the opportunity to be part of two of the following six afternoon workshop sessions:

1.    Cohousing as Community and Urban Renewal Option:  
Charles Durrett, Session I and Laura Fitch, Session II
Presentation on how cohousing developments can help to revitalize urban neighborhoods. Real case examples of projects in the United States will
illustrate how this has changed the urban fabric of existing neighborhoods. 

2.      Cohousing: A Green and Sustainable Approach to Development:
Jackie O’Neil
    A description of one of the inherent philosophies of cohousing, “to live lighter on the land,” will be the focus of discussion in this workshop. Examples of how this approach interfaces with a greener and more sustainable approach to building and developing communities will be viewed. 

3.    Design Components and Characteristics of a Cohousing Community:
Laura Fitch, Session I and Charles Durrett, Session II.
Discussion on specific site criteria germane to creating cohousing neighborhoods and specific building design criteria used to develop the individual living units.

4.     Green and Zero Energy Approaches to Cohousing:
Scott Kelly
Presentation of various approaches to utilizing green technology and reduce energy application in cohousing communities.

5.      The Common House as the Heart of the Community:
Tom Bath
Discussion of the common house and its integral part in the development of a cohousing community will be the focus of this workshop. Examples of how different communities have accomplished their specific objectives will be explored.

6.      The Economics of Cohousing:
Don Tucker
A discussion and presentation of the financial strategy used to develop cohousing communities will be highlighted in this workshop. Real case examples of goals and accomplishments will be presented.

About The Presenters

Charles Durrett has designed over 40 cohousing communities in North America and has consulted on many more around the world. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, the New York Times, the LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Architecture and a variety of other publications. A leading cohousing architect, he and his wife Kathryn McCamant have won numerous awards, including the United Nations World Habitat Award, the Best of 50+ Housing Award (National Home Builders Association 2008) and the Mixed Use, Mixed Income Award, presented jointly by the American Institute of Architects and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Author of three books including Co-Housing : A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves (with Kathryn McCamant), Durrett is credited with coining the term “cohousing” and together with McCamant, introduced cohousing projects to America.


Laura Fitch, one of the principals at Kraus-Fitch Architects, Inc., is a 15-year resident in the first cohousing community in eastern United States.  She is also a specialist in cohousing design and a LEED 2.0 Accredited Professional.  The firm’s approach emphasizes group process and active facilitation to build consensus within newly forming cohousing communities. The firm is nationally recognized as one of the nation’s most experienced cohousing design firms, having programmed and/or designed over two dozen communities nationwide.


Jackie O’Neil is a well known Delaware Valley sustainability leader, advocate, and winner of a 2007 Philadelphia Sustainability Award. O’Neill built and lives in the first LEED Gold certified home in the U.S., which is also a net zero consumer. She developed this home with a vision to make it an educational model for mainstream, sustainable homebuilding throughout the region. Thousands of building industry professionals, educators, homeowners, and school children in the U.S., and from as far away as Japan and Nigeria, have made the pilgrimage to visit her home and hear her story so that they can share her vision of what is possible. She and her development partners, Sandy Wiggins and Three Groves Ecovillage LLC, are applying many of the lessons by developing the first LEED Platinum, net zero energy Ecovillage in the US.


Scott Kelly is one of the founders of  Re:Vision Architecture (RVA) an interdisciplinary team of committed sustainability experts. The goal of  RVA’s projects is to re-vision and restore the balance between natural and built environments.  Since the firm was founded in 2002, RVA has played a leading role in many sustainability initiatives. Architecturally, each of RVA's projects is designed to create a unique statement of development possibilities. RVA's projects are a blend of age-old sustainability strategies (like passive solar design) with innovative technologies. Advocacy is an important part of Kelly’s work and he serves as co-chair of the Philadelphia AIA Committee on the Environment and is a founding Board Member of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC). Kelly is currently teaching in Philadelphia University’s new Master’s of Science in Sustainable Design department.


Tom Bath has been working as a Builder and Construction Manager in the greater Philadelphia market for the past 25 years. Over the years, Bath has completed a variety of residential construction projects. For some time now, he has been focusing his attention on developing sustainable green co-housing neighborhoods in the greater Philadelphia area. In addition, he visited over 30 cohousing communities across the country.

Donald E. Tucker has 30 years of experience designing and developing housing, ranging from small group homes for seniors to large multifamily residential complexes. President of  ECO Housing and a Principal of EDG Architects, LLC, Tucker is a registered architect and real estate developer, and recently designed and developed two cohousing communities in the Washington, DC area. These communities have received wide national recognition for their innovation in energy savings and sustainable building technology while maintaining affordability. In addition to his activities in development, Tucker has taught and lectured widely on affordable and elderly housing design.


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Moore College of Art & Design educates students for inspiring careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's art college. Moore's career-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers nine Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees for women. A coeducational Graduate Studies program was launched in summer, 2009. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, a Continuing Education Certificate program for adults, the 91-year-old acclaimed Youth Art Program for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit www.moore.edu.

September 18, 2009
Moore is pleased to host its inaugural Graduate Symposia: Cohousing: Building Sustainable and Intentional Communities, a free day-long program on October 10, 2009. The symposia, sponsored by the Interior Design Graduate Program at Moore, includes discussion and discovery about the history, theories and practice of creating and living in cohousing.

Published on September 18th, 2009