Adapting the Cohousing Model

Pushing the Boundaries of Community Development

5-Week Online Course | Resuming in 2023

Get a front row seat to the future of the cohousing movement. This highly interactive course will explore where cohousing is heading next and create a space for conversation among cohousing enthusiasts to dreamscape that future together. Decades in the making, the cohousing movement has much to teach about what works and what doesn’t. Glean best practices from existing cohousing models and other professionals to apply to your own community or career.

Cohousing is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. Since the concept came to the US from Denmark in the late 1960s, the development of cohousing has exploded. Most cohousing communities today have long waiting lists. New communities are springing up across the country. And a whole field of professionals has emerged in service of these communities.

Where is the cohousing movement going? How can you – as a community founder, resident, or professional – help shape the burgeoning movement? What is out there in terms of best practices and models to replicate? And most importantly, how do we keep these projects within budget?

The Cutting Edge Cohousing course will offer a deep dive into these questions and more. With leading cohousing architect and designer Bryan Bowen as your guide, you’ll engage in thoughtful conversation with fellow cohousing enthusiasts from around the world.

Leave with a much deeper understanding of cohousing and how you can guide community projects forward in a constructive way. Get ready for highly interactive sessions, in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. Learn from each other and from presentations of cohousing models worth paying attention to.

The course level is intermediate to advanced. Intended for individuals already familiar with the basics of cohousing.

The future of cohousing looks brighter than ever. The world needs these communities to succeed. Let’s come together to reflect, share, and strategize for the future of cohousing.

You will leave this course with…

  • Review outstanding cohousing projects and look at trends in community development
  • Learn how to advocate for innovative housing types in your area
  • Use tools for implementing your ideas and building your values into your project
  • Understand the mechanisms of grassroots vs. developer-led cohousing projects
  • Discover models for incorporating true sustainability and resiliency into cohousing
  • Look at innovative budgeting and finance options for community development
  • Connect with others who are also trying to change the world, one community at a time
  • Gain insight into where the movement is heading and what role you can play in its unfolding

Meet Your Instructor

Bryan Bowen

A New Mexico desert kid, Bryan Bowen has been a practicing architect since graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995. He is dedicated to the design of sustainable structures of all scales that serve client needs and that create thriving neighborhoods that are great to live in. He approaches this work with a sense of humility, humor, and professionalism.

Bryan founded Caddis Collaborative in 2002, a multidisciplinary design collaborative that explores ways of living more lightly upon our earth in beautiful, healthy environments. In addition to our skills in architecture and entitlement, Caddis’ expertise in grassroots community engagement is essential for cohousing, mutlifamily housing, new-urbanist neighborhoods, resort related development, and institutional projects.  

Bryan served two terms as a member of the City of Boulder Planning Board, sat on the Design Advisory Board, Landmarks Board, and Housing Advisory Board as well as participating in several major initiatives like the Missing Middle, Form Based Code, and Downtown Design Guidelines, the Co-op Ordinance, and advocated for increases in inclusionary housing. He and his family lived in Wild Sage Cohousing for 17 years and Caddis offices in Studio Mews, both in the heart of Holiday Neighborhood in north Boulder.

 

The Online Course Experience

Live Interactive Sessions

Each week will feature a 2-hour live class with the course instructor so you can learn in a dynamic setting and get your questions answered directly. Get ready for interactive presentations, group discussion, small cohort activities and personalized support. Plus, each week there will be bonus sessions with guest speakers and panelists.

Journey with a Cohort

Join participants from around the world who are embarking on creating community for better living and more connection. You’ll have opportunities to network with like-minds and develop a network of support to carry your community project forward. Welcome to your global community of communities.

Deep Learning

Participants will have access to a private online space to connect with the instructor and other students through a discussion forum. Each week new learning materials will be uploaded to the space, including videos, worksheets and articles. You’ll be able to watch previously recorded sessions and stay on track with your weekly assignments.

Course Syllabus

  • Class 1: Charting a Path + The Art of the Achievable
  • Class 2: Perverting the Cohousing Model
  • Class 3: Sustainability – The Real Deal
  • Class 4: Cohousing-ology + Best Practices + Lessons Learned
  • Class 5: Cutting Edge Cohousing

Course Schedules

All classes will be recorded and viewable with other class materials for up to 3 weeks after the last class. Live classes will be hosted via Zoom.
Please click the month below to view the respective class dates and times.

May-June 2022

May-June 2022

  • 5/14/22
  • 5/21/22
  • 5/28/22
  • 6/4/22
  • 6/11/22

All classes are on Saturdays from 9-11am Pacific / 10am-12pm Mountain / 11am-1pm Central / 12-2pm Eastern

August-September 2022

August-September 2022

  • 8/4/22
  • 8/11/22
  • 8/18/22
  • 9/1/22

All classes are on Thursdays. The first two classes are from from 1-3pm Pacific / 2-4pm Mountain / 3-5pm Central / 4-6pm Eastern. The last two classes are from 1-4pm Pacific / 2-5pm Mountain / 3-6pm Central / 4-7pm Eastern.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Our forming group stepped into our series of cohousing design workshops very green. None of us had ever lived in a cohousing community and only a few had even visited one. But Bryan was able to take us there. Through his evocative, purposeful stories, our group could connect to what achieving our vision might actually feel like. This motivated us to dig deep to pursue this wild dream of creating our own neighbourhood. Bryan is a gifted storyteller, drawing on years of lived experience both designing and living in community. His examples, filled with humour, triumphs, and cringe-worthy disasters, provide gentle yet illustrative guidance, just the right guard rails for visionary groups that are determined to get it built.

– Cate de Vreede, co-founder of Treehouse Village Ecohousing

Bryan is an engaging teacher with a long and deep experience of cohousing. His professional work with communities is informed by many years living in community. As a result, he brings a clear understanding of how communities work, what they need and where they are likely to get into trouble. Bryan’s playfulness and clear language make him a joy to learn from and to work with.

Karen Gimnig, Professional Facilitator

In addition to Bryan’s many years of experience designing cohousing and affordable housing communities, he is the rare architect that really understands the development process and what it really takes to get a project built while trying to hold the budget. I have always enjoyed working with him. 

– Katie McCamant, President, CoHousing Solutions

Bryan Bowen is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about cohousing. He has experience in creating it and living in it. He speaks with seekers and those in communities, both forming and established, about his lived experience in cohousing. He collaborates with various cohousing professionals including architects and developers. He is a supporter of CohoUS, FIC, the cohousing movement and many community related things.
If you ever have the opportunity to hear a presentation, attend a workshop or simply connect with Bryan, I highly recommend it! 

– Karin Hoskin, Executive Director, CohoUS ,

We’ve been working with Bryan since the earliest dreaming stages of our community, Chase Street Commons. He helped us to bring action to our vision, outlined the steps ahead, put us in touch with all the right people and kept our group moving forward. He has such a solid understanding of both the design and human components of cohousing, and offered wisdom and creativity. He is insightful, patient and extremely knowledgeable. Without him, Chase Street Commons would still be a dream, and he has played this role with so many groups, pushing the cohousing movement forward with his work and passion.

Trish Becker, Founder, Chase Street Commons, Founder

I highly recommend Bryan Bowen’s FIC course, “Cutting Edge Cohousing”, for anyone interested in cohousing and community-based solutions to America’s current housing and cultural challenges. Bryan is one of the few national experts on all things cohousing from both a community member and professional design and development standpoint He has worked with many cohousing groups and developers in the creation of successful and attractive cohousing and related collaborative communities and neighborhoods nationally and in Canada and South Africa. 

– Jim Leach, President, Wonderland Hill Development Company

Join the Wait List

2023 Course Waiting List

Thank you for your interest in learning more about how to join, start, and grow intentional community. Please complete the form below to stay in the loop on our latest course offerings.

Need financial support to attend a course?

Apply for a scholarship. Those with low-income and from marginalized groups are encouraged to apply. FIC is committed to ensuring everyone has access to intentional community learning opportunities.