The Architect Has No Clothes

Posted by & filed under Building, Society, Village Development.

by Michael Mehaffy & Nikos A. Salingaros 1. Seeing the World Differently For 40 years, people have been talking about how to fix Boston’s City Hall Plaza. Have you ever looked at a bizarre building design and wondered, “what were the architects thinking?” Have you looked at a supposedly “ecological” industrial-looking building, and questioned how… Read more »

Creating Buildings and Environments that Support Life (Podcast)

Posted by & filed under Building, Eco-Villages, Society, Village Development.

by James Alexander Arnfinsen Our society is drunk, it is intoxicated on pursuing novelty, it is pursuing novelty at all costs, even at the cost of civilization itself. — Nikos Salingaros, from the interview In this episode I have the delight of connecting with Nikos Salingaros, who is a Professor in Mathematics, an Urbanist and… Read more »

Zero Net Energy Households

Posted by & filed under Building, Consumerism, Energy Systems.

A "zero net" home is a household with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually — essentially, the idea of a zero net home is a building with a virtually invisible carbon footprint. As renewable and clean energy sources become more affordable and accessible to everyday homeowners, we should hopefully see an increase… Read more »

The Three Legs of the Integrated Permaculture Design Stool

Posted by & filed under Building, Energy Systems, Land, Society.

by Rob Avis I woke up this morning with a realization — nothing I didn’t already know in principle, just a clearer understanding of how certain principles fit together to create good design. My epiphany was visualizing integrated design as a three-legged stool which requires all three legs to make a stable seat/design. The three… Read more »

Dezhou Solar City (China)

Posted by & filed under Building, Eco-Villages, Energy Systems.

For one day only we were able to make a stop in Dezhou, one of China’s famed ‘Solar Cities.’ As a bright and cheery advertisement explained, "Just like the Silicon Valley, this is the Solar Valley." The ad was remarkable for several reasons. First, China’s economic development plan of copying hallmark Western institutions was essentially… Read more »

Emergency Shelters Made From Paper (TED video)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects.

Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda or Japan. Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part… Read more »

We the Tiny House People (Video)

Posted by & filed under Building, Consumerism.

What does it mean to have a house? What defines a home? Is there an appropriate size or should there be a legal amount of space per inhabitant? What is enough or too much? Our Western education teaches us to own a house at all costs, to move away from our parents and build our… Read more »