"Ever read the classic 1975 utopian novel Ecotopia? People in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest break from the US to form their own country. We love the book because in Ecotopia, everybody lives in a commune!
With Ecotopia as inspiration we're visiting as many 'communal hotspots' as possible in an 8-day period: Ojai, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, Oakland, Bolinas, Sonoma County and beyond... from Aug 12 - 20, or so." .... Stephanie Smith..
read more about this incredible voyage here...
"In addition to their do-it-yourself, easy-to-build and other sustainability-related benefits, “earth bag” homes – constructed of bags filled with local dirt, mud, sand and/or rock – are also potentially extremely expressive as works of design. Their structural properties and the ways in which they are stacked certainly preclude some design possibilities but they enable others.The end product reflects not only the more universal properties of sand-and-dirt-built structures but also can indicate individual stylistic preferences and regional building practices. The final appearance is generally curved, organic and assymetrical – not things we are used to in home design – but invariably are anything but boring. All in all, they have a great deal of expressive potential for something so cheap, easy and fast to build – if nothing else as an eccentric guest house or secondary rural cabin....
see the site here.. and blog here..
Interview with Andrea here..
Q: When I think of your work and how you live, it seems like you are working toward a kind of utopianism. Is that overstatement?
A: It's funny. I was thinking about that the other day because I've noticed that a lot of people are afraid to use the word "utopia." And I think by nature I'm drawn toward utopian solutions. I'm really drawn to these different earlier stabs at making utopian communities, so I'm trying to figure out why having utopian impulses is a bad thing.
Q: People often associate utopianism with escapism.
A: No, actually I think they associate it with fascism: Look at the early 20th century and the utopian movements in Europe, and how some of them ended up going so wrong. I think that's the danger. And I've noticed that Europeans are a little more wary of that word than Americans, especially in the West Coast, where, at worst, utopian movements ended up being hippie communes gone wrong.
"Pretty Vacant Properties is a vacation rental site in Joshua Tree, California. One at a time, we are building a new kind of desert modern architecture that offers you a chance for you to re-frame and re-create your own world . . . if only for a weekend. Authenticity of place is the most rare and valuable quality that we can offer to people who want to escape from the grind, so the houses are envisioned and handcrafted by the builder (www.robertstonedesign.com) with only that in mind. If you think they look good then contact us and plan a trip."
read more here..
(dying to rent this house for the weekend, any believers?)