Monday, November 29, 2010

Home Improvement

If you are planning or working on some home improvement project or even a new home, have a look at these two recent presentations from TED. Both these videos give inspirational ideas on sustainable construction and building. Dan Phillips builds unique and personal houses from reclaimed materials. One can pick up many creative thoughts from him.

John Hardy has created a green school and this video presents his green school dream in Bali. It was interesting to see the first proposal for his school as made by an apparently traditional architect: all building as square boxes and the largest box in the center was labeled "the Administration Complex". It seemed so wrong that the administration should be the largest structure on the school campus. A nagging inner voice hinted that any school should be about teaching and eduction and accordingly the largest building should be dedicated to that objective. It was also speaking of itself to call it a "Complex" implying - even if only at a Freudian level - that it was a complex thing or complex solutions. We should strive for simplicity not complexity. Anyway, this "typical" architectural proposal was rejected and a set of building was realized following ideas from permaculture. The central building was designed as an intertwined double spiral which looked like a permaculture pattern to me. The building was named "Heart of School" (instead of Administration Complex), and yes part of it houses the administration facilities. As material they used bamboo and local natural materials. I found it creative and an idea worth copying to use thrown away glass panel from old cars with white paper placed behind it as white board for kids. Now that is cheap and functional design.

Refuse - reduce - reuse - recycle. These builders give us some examples of how it can be done and how beautiful the result can be. Maybe it will influence our next personal home improvement project.

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