I’ve been thinking about the question of what it takes to build a house, and whether or not the first answer is necessarily money. In daydream mode, I’ve been thinking about making a place, about doorways and windows, floorboards and sinks and stairways. I’ve also been trying to shift this from the stuff of daydreams to actual action. Do I know what needs to be known to build a small house?
I spent some time today looking through the big book Shelter written by Lloyd Kahn in 1973. It’s a wild, weird-ass book — a reference, a manifesto, part poetry, part how-to, a look at how people protect themselves from the elements around the world. There’s talk of gypsy wagons and housetrucks, demo and salvage techniques, working with dirt, stone, sod, and hay. There’s talk of outhouses and domes, tools, gardens, and roofs. There are hundreds of photographs, and a tremendous amount of text. Some of it is typed; some of it is in neat handwritten print with drawings and diagrams. There’s a hippie spirit to it, and an unalloyed enthusiasm for what we can do with our hands. It’s about the architecture of home. It’s giving me ideas.
[Photos from Shelter]