Rooted Northwest is built on the experience, accumulated wisdom, and patterns of numerous projects in the United States and around the world. Meet some of the people who inspire, advise, and support our design, development, and governance decisions.
Developer Project Manager
Katie is a licensed architect and coauthor of the authoritative book on cohousing, Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, which introduced this housing model to North America. In 1987, Katie co-founded McCamant & Durrett Architects / The CoHousing Company with Charles Durrett, and partnered with developer, Jim Leach, on numerous projects. Since then, Katie has designed and developed dozens of cohousing communities in the United States and Canada. Katie also runs the 500 Communities Program, a yearlong training for passionate entrepreneurs who seek to devote themselves to building the next 500 cohousing communities.
Diana Leafe Christian
Diana is an author, former editor of Communities magazine, and nationwide speaker and workshop presenter on starting new villages, on building communities, and on sustainability. She published two books to help people who want to join or start their own villages or other intentional communities. In Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities, she uses success stories, cautionary tales, and practical advice for those starting such projects. In Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community, she covers researching, visiting, evaluating, and joining communities. Her never-ending learning has informed important aspects of our membership process.
Kathryn Gardow is the founder and Principal of Gardow Consulting, LLC…because land, food, & people matter. She has worked for over 30 years on land issues, facilitating projects and developing solutions while addressing environmental concerns. Kathryn advocates integrating food production lands, farmlands, and community gardens into places where we live, so families can connect with their sustenance. Kathryn is a past Executive Director of PCC Farmland Trust (now Washington Farmland Trust), active member of the Washington Women in Food Systems, serves on the Recreation Conservation Funding Board for the Washington State Recreation Conservation Office (RCO), and previously served on the RCO's Farmland Preservation Advisory Board.
Communitecture: Architecture and Design
Mark is a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. In the last decade he has directed, facilitated, or inspired designs for more than three hundred new community-generated public places in Portland, Oregon alone. Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc., and its various affiliates such as the The City Repair Project (501(c)3), The Village Building Convergence, and the Planet Repair Institute, he has also been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory organizations and urban permaculture design projects across the United States and Canada. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities.
Machelle & Narendra Varma
Narendra and Machelle Varma moved to Portland in 2010 to create OurTable cooperative. Alongside a commitment to Permaculture principles and ethics, Narendra brings financial expertise and capital to the cooperative that brings together multiple food producers, distributors, and resellers into a resilient network.
Jacob advises Rooted NW on sustainability, resilience, and regenerative tradeoffs in design and construction. New Frameworks is a worker-owned cooperative committed to a kinder sort of building. Locally sourced natural materials like native hardwood, clay, and stone soften our impact on the planet. Their familiarity with building practices and comprehensive, full-service systems design make their buildings at home on earth while providing state-of-the-art comfort and efficiency for the people who rely on them.
As one of the founders of Ecovillage Ithaca, Liz Walker has had ample experience in the processes of actually building community. Her conclusion is that weaving the social fabric takes as much dedication and work as creating the physical form, and she has shared her lessons and journey in her book. Ecovillage Ithaca has three neighborhoods built with different approaches which provides invaluable comparative experiences in launching and designing communities and the interplay amongst neighborhoods.
Crystal Byrd Farmer
Foundation for Intentional Communities
Crystal Byrd Farmer is an engineer turned educator from Gastonia, North Carolina. She is an organizer and speaker in the intentional communities movement. She serves as a board member with the Foundation for Intentional Communities and is on the Editorial Review Board of Communities Magazine published by the Global Ecovillage Network-United States. She also serves as an organizer for the BIPOC Intentional Community Council. Her book The Token: Common Sense Ideas for Increasing Diversity in Your Organization is out now. Crystal is passionate about encouraging people to change their perspectives on diversity, relationships, and the world.
Bryan Bowen is an architect, cohousing nerd, and lover of community-based sustainable design. Bryan founded Caddis Collaborative in 2002. Caddis is a multidisciplinary design collaborative that explores ways of living more lightly upon our earth in beautiful, healthy environments. Caddis has become a well-respected national cohousing expert, creating beautiful, innovative, highly functioning communities. Clients comment on Bryan’s ability to distill the chaos of development and construction in a logical and insightful way, creating a bubble of calm around their process. Caddis has experience with net-zero, passive house, leed, and living building challenge and truly gets how to create low-carbon communities.
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