How to be a Cohousing Architect

Friday 2nd August: 8am - 4pm
Speaker: Grace H. Kim, FAIA, NOMA, SEED


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As evidenced by the birth of the cohousing movement in the US, Architects are often the visionary leaders who inspire groups to action. However, there are too few architects to grow the cohousing movement. In this workshop, cohousing architect Grace Kim will help the next generation of architects prepare to successfully engage with their future clients. This training session will help architects understand the group process and share strategies for facilitating workshops. We will review the atypical tasks to consider in preparing fee proposals, expectations of cohousing groups and cohousing jargon. This session is intended for practicing architects only.


  • Define Cohousing
  • Identify the differences in design process, planning and approach
  • Learn strategies for group process
  • Plan for successful engagement of future residents

Speaker: Grace H. Kim

Grace H. Kim (FAIA, NOMA, SEED) is an architect and co-founding principal of Schemata Workshop, a Seattle-based architectural practice with a keen focus on community, social equity and sustainability. Her firm works on projects that shape and guide regional growth – such as the Seattle Central Waterfront, affordable housing, and Equitable Transit Oriented Developments (eTOD), recreation and aquatics facilities, transit projects, and long range planning. Her co-design process engages not only her client and consultants, but also the building occupants and surrounding community stakeholders that will be impacted by her projects.

Grace is also the founder of Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing, a collaborative residential community which includes her street level office and a rooftop urban farm. She walks the talk of sustainability – leaving a small ecological footprint while incorporating holistic ideals of social and economic resilience into her daily life. She is an internationally recognized expert in cohousing – her TED talk on cohousing as an antidote for isolation has over 3M views.

Grace provided 8-years of leadership to the Seattle Planning Commission and currently serves on the Vice President for the Housing Development Consortium Board of Directors – a non-profit organization that advocates for affordable housing in Seattle and King County. She also serves on the Professional Advisory Council for the Cohousing Association of the US.