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See also:
"The Making of Creativity"
from AV Today, May 2005



Creativity: an experiment in collective housing

 

 

 

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Creativity is a collective community of about forty people, in the South-West of the Residential Zone. The Aurovilians who conceived of Creativity were residents in need of houses, as well as people who wanted to study how the Auroville housing shortage could be met by building modest apartments, at low cost and environment friendly. Some of the aspects they studied, before starting, were: cost-effective building/maintenance, low environmental impact, functionality of design for a commune, and the suitability for residents of varying ages and nationalities.

Creativity would also serve as an alternative to the growing trend of self-paid, private housing; a change in direction to harmonious community living that, if successful, might be applied to future housing projects.

 

 

 

The planning of the project began in June 1999 and every stage of the development of Creativity was to be documented. Reports of meetings and planning session, cost estimates and actual costs, together with human records of progress and setback were to be recorded and archived. Initially this growing information was shared among the Aurovilians and new-comers who were participating in the project.

The sum of information was to be made available at the Auroville Housing Service, as a reference for future projects in Auroville; and for worldwide research on intentional communities.

Globally speaking, the information would be relevant for housing in areas that experience: the challenge of moderate building density, scarce natural resources (water/energy), and an inflow of people with modest incomes and from culturally diverse backgrounds.

The plans aspired to a socially relevant model for starting communities facing the question: How can people who are different live together in peace and harmony?".

 

The answer would come from Auroville's aims reflected in the home life of a culturally diverse group of about fifty Aurovilians, Newcomers and guests; people willing to live together in the density of five three-tier apartment blocks. With an emphasis on shared facilities as a kitchen and recreational areas, simple living spaces were designed for an active community mix of singles, couples and families.

The future resident had to agree to a charter mentioning: no personal ownership of spaces, the will to contribute and share in community life, and the openness to explore ways of intercultural harmony.

 

Creativity was planned as a sustainable experiment, in the setting of a healthy mix of rural and urban aspects. It would be a demonstration site for eco-technologies and integrated human/natural resources. The community was to use forms of energy saving, such as solar electricity, rainwater harvesting, treatment of wastewater, and waste sorting.

Eco-friendly building materials were to be used, in keeping with Auroville's commitment to these values. Half of the building plot was to remain green and a kitchen garden would grow organic food for the community.

 

In March 2001, the site in the South West corner of the Residential Zone was approved and the architectural plans by Anupama were complete. About 25 future residents started meeting once a month; getting to know one another and working out the details in the Auroville way, suggested by the Mother.

A foundation ceremony was held, but the actual construction was postponed for need of funds. The collective process that started after this postponement has been recorded in interviews published in Auroville Today.

As of January 1, 2008, it can be noted that many of the aspirations of the planners have come true. More than half of the community members partake in running Creativity, have regular dinners, or meet once a month.
Given regular contact through community email, dinners and cultural events, all residents eventually do participate in the daily life of the community.

 

 

 

For further details on Creativity, link to:

Communities in alphabetic order

Creativity Guesthouse

Auroville Today (April 2005) 

Auroville Masterplan

Creativity architect Anupama

 Art and culture in Creativity

 

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