Beyond the economic and health impacts, consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic include higher rates of stress, anxiety and loneliness. But loneliness doesn't always stem from being alone. For architect Grace Kim, loneliness is a function of how socially connected we feel to the people around us, and it's often the result of the homes we live in. Grace shares an age-old antidote to isolation: co-housing, a way of living where people choose to share space with their neighbors, get to know them, and look after them. How can we take principles of co-housing and apply them in our multi-family condos and apartments? Especially for those concerned that urbanites will flee to the suburbs, how can we add greater value and social connection in our dense urban multi-family neighborhoods?
Grace Kim is a co-founder of Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing, a collaborative residential community which includes her street level office and a rooftop urban farm. Grace is also an architect and co-founding principal of Schemata Workshop, a Seattle-based architectural practice with a focus on community, social equity and sustainability. Her firm works on projects that shape Seattle and guide its growth, such as affordable housing projects and the Capitol Hill Transit Oriented Development. Grace also currently serves on the Seattle Planning Commission as well as the Board of Directors the Housing Development Consortium – a non-profit organization that advocates for affordable housing.