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As part of our work on co-housing scheme for Science Central, Newcastle, we were asked to prepare a co-design exercise which would help us bring the community together and learn its needs and desires for their living environment. I and David developed an exercise that helped us design our co-housing scheme and develop a sustainable way of managing the facilities and resources within the community.

In his blog post David discussed and described his part of the exercise. I would like to describe mine, which was linked to his and both were part of one theme. For my co-design exercise I decided to find out the way community wants to ‘work’-how much help and what kind of it they are happy to give and on what basis. There were several options to choose from in a form of a sticker. The facilities were on the board and community members had to pick the sticker with what they thought was the best way of managing it

Happy to help! (name)-sticker represented someone’s vote who was happy to help on a volunteer basis. The member choosing it had to write his/her name on it
Payable-meant that community members could work full time within community. Would suit a full time mom who can look after other children in the community and being payed for that
Compensated help-if the member is happy to help in a return of some compensation-help in an exchange
Free of charge-if they think it should be for free
Profit used for community needs-whether community wants to spend the profit that a facility making on co-housing needs
Managed by group on rota-if they want to run a facility on rota basis
Production for sale-this sticker was relevant for allotments and workshops which produce could be sold in a local co-housing shop
Some other stickers indicated the access community wanted to provide for their facilities:
Restricted access
Locals welcome-whether community wanted to interact with locals more
Community access only
Open for public-as LILAC and Lancaster co-housing communities welcome locals to rent their studios and use their allotments, our community might also want to do the same
The exercise showed good results and helped me discover not only the way community wanted to manage their shared facilities, but also number of volunteers and where exactly they wanted to help

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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