Friday, January 18, 2008

MICHAEL REYNOLDS — SHOWIN' US HOW

On weekends, my house mate, Jim Fakey and I would go out to his little chunk of land with his back seat full of scrap lumber found laying around any building sight of the required three foot length he'd collected over the week. On his table saw we would cut the same angle on 360 separate pieces, then cut another angle on them the next, and new pieces the next weekend until, mid summer of ‘73, we’d refined enough scrap lumber to assemble a stack of triangles which we then bolted together for the framework of his thirty foot diameter dome home. The giant oven/fireplace was a native stone spiral reaching to the peak and stretching into a spiral enclosure for the bathroom, the outer portion of which was made of mortar and multicolored bottles on their sides for quite ethereal lighting in the shower whose water was heated by the sun in 75 feet of folded black hose in a glass box on the roof. It was the most enjoyable home I have ever taken part in the construction of and definitely my most direct experience of becoming self sustaining to that point in my life.

At the same time we were doing that a fellow named Michael Reynolds, upon becoming an architect, began showing the world what they could do with all the garbage they were complaining about in a much more thorough endeavor than ours. Without further ado …



Go here for more on this wonderful avatar for a sustainable future.

Absolute Vanilla asked why call these buildings Earthships, my reply I repeat here:
Without reading their reasons I can think of several off the top of my head:
1) Being symbiotic with the Earth and realizing it is your natural self sustaining spAce ship.
2) Being in the same boat we have the same common cause like a crew, with our unique contributions to offer.
3) The buildings leave a zero footprint on the earth like the wake of a clean ship through water.
4) The buildings themselves are made of what would normally end up in land fill and the natural materials of the location on which they are built.

8 comments:

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

That was an inspirational, amazing and fascinating post, G&G. I have just one question - why do they call them Earthships...?
:-)

gregra&gar said...

Without reading their reasons I can think of several off the top of my head:
1) Being symbiotic with the Earth and realizing it is your natural self sustaining spsce ship.
2) Being in the same boat we have the same common cause like a crew, with out unique contributions to offer.
3) The buildings leave a zero footprint on the earth like the wake of a clean ship through water.
4) The buildings themselves are made of what would normally end up in land fill and the natural materials of the location on which they are built.

leslie said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship

http://ultimatesolarhomes.com/

Great post, Vapors!

Minx said...

Ooh, just got lost on YouTube looking at the other Earthships around the globe. Brilliant. They seem like an answer to so many of our sustainable housing problems.

leslie said...

http://www.simondale.net/house/index.htm

Lilwave said...

Awesome!! I ♥ it!! After watching "The story of stuff" and this, I'm feeling quite inspired. Now, if I could just learn how to get my thumbs to turn green (along with finding some enjoyment out of growing my own), I might be able to turn my path a bit. Wonder how those earthships do in the floodlands? Have you ever been to that place your linked to called "The Farm"?

karoline said...

thankyou~!!

what a fabulous inspirational clip..i've passed it on and will continue doing so..thankyou..the timing couldn't be better..

k:)

gregra&gar said...

Thanks for the links Leslie, the number of people working on this kind of thing is growing steadily. Soon enough to forestall the worst of the karma we've been brewing for decades remains to be seen?

Minx, Lilwave and Karoline, I am glad you were as inspired by this maverick as I. Coast lines and flood plains have always only been inhabited by temporary shelters by native people who were more aware and respectful of the natural changes of season and cycle.

I met Stephen Gaskin when he led the Monday Night Class on the Caravan that discovered the "Farm." It shared a fence line with my friend's grandmother in Summerville, TN who told him she had never needed to water her garden of bounteous vegetables.