The Laboratory of Housing Alternatives (LOHA) was launched in November 2012 with a Visioning Workshop where we partnered with the Hive and the Vancouver Design Nerds. This evening event was a combination of a panel discussion followed by a workshop where over 80 people discussed ideas around housing Vancouver’s creative and emerging professionals.
The panel session was composed of 4 diverse speakers: Abi Bond (City of Vancouver), Ian Macdonald (Bruce Carscadden Architect), Leslie Shieh (Take Root Properties) and Oliver Lang (Lang Wilson Practice in Architecture). The panel did a great job at both framing issue and providing examples of potential solutions.
The second half of the event allowed people to break into smaller groups to explore housing ideas while using themes as guiding principles. The themes proposed were: research, education, finance, design, policy/regulation, community and integration. Towards the end of the event the groups reconvened to share the most outstanding ideas from their individual discussions. The sharing allowed us to identify While each group had the ideas were diverse a few themes emerged:
- Flexible and adaptive housing
- New building forms / medium density
- Diversity of ownership models
- Raw spaces that are customizable
- Incentives for innovative and affordable housing
- Diversity and variety
- Housing network and sharing
- Community sensitive development
- LOHA as a network and lobbyist
These themes have become the focus of work for this year. In the fall of 2013 LOHA will launch a series of events that will be dedicated to further explore these ideas while engaging people in the conversation.