Mary Kraus Architect
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- Amherst, Massachusetts
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As one of the original cohousing architects in North America, I have been working with cohousing communities across the continent since 1990, in both English and French. From Cohabitat Québec in Québec City to Bartimaeus Cohousing in Washington State, I have helped future neighbors to articulate their goals, make design decisions together, and bring their dreams into form. Over the years, I have developed a methodology for participatory design that is both highly effective and deeply enjoyable. The objective is not only to create a design that suits your particular group, but to help you build strong bonds with your future neighbors in the process of making your design decisions.
I collaborate with your local architect, combining their specific knowledge and skills with my expertise in cohousing and participatory design. We develop the initial designs together, and I consult with them as the project advances to assure that cohousing-specific parameters are effectively addressed.
Since 1994, I have been living at Pioneer Valley Cohousing, the first cohousing community to be built in the eastern US, and for which I was one of the architects. I know cohousing first-hand and in depth from the daily experience of living it – not to mention understanding what the development process is like for clients deeply invested in the outcome of their future home.
While I can customize workshops to the needs of your group, the most frequent workshops I run include:
• Site programming and design
• Common house programming and design
• Unit programming and design
• Values and vision statement
• Creating (or revising) your community work system
I am also available for consultation, presentations on cohousing, and facilitation of group decisions.