The series will facilitate dialogue across methodological and disciplinary divides, and will transcend the academic-practitioner split by engaging the UK Cohousing Network (as co-applicant) in all aspects of design, development and dissemination. The purpose of this dialogue is three-fold;
- to break down the barriers in language and culture that often prevent collaboration between ‘social’, legal/‘financial and ‘technical’ ways of understanding collaborative housing;
- to facilitate a more rapid dissemination of best practice and awareness of new approaches currently being piloted in the field for future research and housing and community development;
- to establish an enduring international network of expertise to support the UK Cohousing Network, and to coordinate with similar umbrella organisations internationally, to promote scientific advancement and policy guidance. This will entail further postgraduate training, career development and capacity-building within and beyond the academic institutions involved.
In addition to the seminar events themselves, conversation will be cultivated primarily though the web-site (hosted by the UK Cohousing Network and linked to each of the host institutions) as well as via teaching and training materials, contact lists and links to other networks and user groups. Also involving reference projects which often have experts and facilities for specialist training (in consensus governance for instance).
The final seminar will focus on producing outputs which extend beyond academic research to applications for end user support (including newly emerging professional training for cohousing lawyers, accountants, project managers, architects and those evaluating the technical performance of low-impact domestic technologies).