Intergenerational hybrid cohousing community for artists
Bell, Lauren Sloan
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This practicum proposes the design of an urban intergenerational hybrid cohousing community for artists that aims to encourage intergenerational connection. The need for more intergenerational relations is revealed through an exploration of ageism, and age segregation. Literature suggests that art practice can be conducive to these connections. The vehicle to provide these intergenerational opportunities is a hybrid cohousing community specific to older professional artists who would live permanently in the community, and post-secondary art students who would live in the community temporarily. The community aims to provide mentor-mentee relationships that will stimulate the sharing of stories, wisdom, technology, life experience, art, and advice. In turn, the duration of time combined with the supportive environment can help to alleviate previous ageist stereotypes and prejudices. Cohousing is a housing option that is typically intergenerational and supports a community-driven environment where residents intentionally commit to socialization, assisting other residents, sharing common necessities, frequent dinners, and events. The cohousing model is evaluated for its benefits, drawbacks, common conceptions, and design recommendations. As some residents will not live in the community permanently, it is considered a hybrid cohousing community. Both generations are considered within the design that includes residential and commercial spaces including private dwellings, common spaces, a café/gallery, and private studios. The proposal is unique as it combines different generations intentionally and utilizes interior design strategies to encourage interaction between the cohousing residents and the community beyond. The commercial spaces, the café/gallery, and line of sight to view the artists’ studios from the main entry or from the street injects art into the neighborhood through an intergenerational environment.