CoHo Reaches Consensus on Color Design!

What does relief feel like?

CoHo has been relieved! We reached "consensus" with the color combination and paint design of our buildings!

Our palette of color choices.

Our palette of color choices.

Some community residents formed groups to take the color palette we were satisfied with and come up with designs that would meet our needs. These groups of dedicated people (including some kids!) spent many hours laying out different options for everyone to choose from. The first round of options were whittled down to blended options, where we then "voted" (oh no!) on a design that was satisfying.

Original design B Original design B Design B1 Design B2 Building 5 of design B2 Design B3 Original H design Design H1 Original H design Design H2Building 5 of design H2 Design H3 Building 5 of design H3

We voted? Wait a minute.

The question is: which procedures are there for deriving, from what is known or can be found out about their preferences, a collective or “social” ordering of the alternatives from better to worse?

When presented with three or more options, there is no voting system that will convert individual ranked preferences and collectively order them from better to worse. You can thank economist Kenneth Arrow, who proved this with some fancy math.

So how would we solve this paradox with color design choices? Well, we came up with a process to "vote" on a design that resonated with us. This certainly met our need to be creative. And the designers already contemplated everyone's feelings and individual color preferences for their units within their buildings, attempting to satisfy everyone. We employed a form of ranked choice voting, which obviously deviates from our preferred method of consensus.

Multiple rounds of silent voting ensued, where we eventually converged on a single design.

CoHo first rounds of color design voting CoHo final day of color design voting Design H1

LOTS of needs and feelings were exposed.

Oh boy, the list of needs and feelings brought out by choosing colors and designs is too much to describe here. The entire process created community connection and in the end we now feel relieved, among other feelings.

The next chapter of this story will continue with how we prepare for painting. We already had bids and price estimates, and will proceed with getting a contract in place with our chosen contractor. There will definitely be some anticipation and anxiety as we get closer to the date when our buildings will be painted with new colors!

Posted in Common House, Decision Making, Facilitation, Long-Range Planning, Meetings, Participation and tagged , , , .

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  1. Pingback: New Colors at CoHo – Before & After (Part 1) – CoHo Ecovillage

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