Some of the proposed housing solutions in the $300 House competition are utterly soulless and devoid of love. They look like boxes churned out by a factory with little or no thought to cooking, living, sleeping, privacy, windows or other basic necessities. At first I noted their use of energy intensive materials such as steel and cement. But something kept nagging me… There was something else that just didn’t feel right. Then I saw a photo of a tilt-up concrete panel being set into place and it dawned on me. This particular house is just a concrete box. The same or similar process is used to build prisons, welding shops, or whatever. It is completely devoid of life. Who would want to live in something like this? The acoustics would be terrible. Everything would be hard and flat and boring. Build a house like this and essentially you’re building your own little prison.
My proposals aren’t perfect, but at least they address basic living issues and look and feel homey, or they do to me anyway. Part of the reason for this is thick walls, earthen plaster and floors, outdoor living space and extensive use of natural materials.