When the Crate’s Better Than the Chair

Steve Badgett of the design/art/architecture collective Simparch tipped me off to Dutch furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld’s set of chairs built out of crates, done back in the 1930s. As Rietveld put it, “A piece of furniture made of high-grade wood and manufactured completely according to traditional production methods is transported in a crate to avoid damage…no one has ever ascertained that such a chest embodi...

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A Bicyclist’s Bill of Rights Part II

...ll cyclists be dealt with to the full extent of the law. 5) Cyclists have the right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements. 6) Cyclists have the right to urban and roadway planning, development and design that enable and support safe cycling. 7) Cyclists have the right to traffic signals, signage and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling. 8) Cyclists have the right to be actively engaged as a const...

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Joshua Tree Earthen Oven Class

...earthen plasters covered in more depth in adobeisnotsoftware’s other classes. Topics Include: Local considerations and the siting your earthen oven Soil and material selection, sourcing and testing Foundations and oven base design and materials Sizing Sand Form and Oven Domes Natural oven plasters and finishes Firing and baking in your oven. Instruction Type: This is a hands-on class. Attendees will have the opportunity to get dirty and use t...

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Out Of The In Box

While my architectural tastes run closer to Prince Charles than Buckminster Fuller (those damn domes leak!), I have a soft spot for DIY hippie design manuals. I recently stumbled upon Ken Isaacs’ 1974 book How to Build Your Own Living Structures, which contains plans for everything from a simple chair to a multi-level home, all in a distinct modular style. Best of all, it’s available as a pdf for free here along with a couple of othe...

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City Repair LA

...hat I like about Mark Lakeman’s actions is that they aren’t “actions.” There is none of the attention seeking, pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric that one finds in activities such as “guerrilla” gardening (or perhaps some of our own past activities!). Instead the focus is on problem solving through getting neighborhoods together and doing things rather than standing around and complaining. Yesterday I had the great...

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The Great Greywater Debate- PVC or Polyethylene?

PVC v. Polyethylene Homegrown Neighbor here. I’ve been wanting a greywater system for a long time. My old house does not exactly make access to the pipes easy, so I’m starting with just the washing machine. The neighbor, Mr. Homegrown, is anxious to try out a new design from Oasis. So we have been trying to get all the pieces and get it done- and here is where we get stuck. The system can either use polyethylene tubing or pvc. PVC...

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Cargo Bikes Rule the World

It’s hard to improve on a design as simple and elegant as the bicycle. It’s a bit like trying to redesign the fork or chopstick. But every once in a while a new idea comes along. We could debate the merits of the spork, but I’d rather focus on the current cargo bike revolution taking place in the workshops of bike builders around the world. One such innovator is Lane Kagay who operates a one man cargo bike/rack operation out o...

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Bikin’ in LA

...r all), off the bike raise hell. And, as the bike path photo above from über bike activist Stephen Box’s SoapBoxLA blog demonstrates, there’s plenty to raise hell about with Los Angeles’ terminal car-centric design. For me the issue ain’t about bikes–I actually enjoy hauling ass through congested rush hour traffic on two wheels. Instead my off bike ire is more about two questions that, I hope, everyone will care abo...

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Appropriate Technology

...volved out of political economist E. F. Schumacher’s book Small is Beautiful and is easier to show rather than describe. While not always low-tech, appropriate tech concepts feature elegantly simple (but not simplistic) design, efficient use of energy and are usually aimed at poor countries. What Homegrown Evolution would like to prove is that these technologies have a place in developed western countries as well. Here’s three of our...

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The Sami Way

...munen served). A wooden form of the traditional circular Sami hut. Kuhmunen speaking eloquently about what can only be called arctic permaculture, life in touch with the cycles of life and the importance of context specific design. And speaking of context, the smoke of the fire rising up through a hole in the roof. The dirt floor is insulated with a layer of burnt twigs, followed by moose skins and a top layer of reindeer fur. It works. It was...

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