Thumb through popular architecture sources and you’ll readily spot a growing trend toward curved and round designs. It’s a revolt against the box. Oh sure, the status quo suburban box is alive and well, and will likely endure as long as the existing building codes, insurance and financial institutions remain in place. But there’s a definite backlash against the packaged homogeneity thrust upon us by marketers, and no doubt fueled by the ongoing economic crisis that’s forcing people to explore more affordable options. In addition, more and more people are concerned about the environment and health aspects. People are eager to use recycled items, buy local and use materials that don’t offgas toxic chemicals. I say this trend is long overdue.
Try this fun little experiment. Go to Google Images and search for “hobbit houses”. Simone Dale’s and Tony Wrench’s houses will pop up in the search results. Click on a few of these images until you find some of their photos on blogs. Almost without fail people leave comments like “Absolutely love it. Wish I could live in a house like this”. Now keep in mind that these houses and other similar ones are probably on hundreds of blogs and then you start to realize the full impact. It really gets you thinking. This is what many people want – low cost, simple to build, organic – but the current system severely limits the options. Marketers are fighting basic human instinct. After all, humans built their own homes throughout most of history, and of course, they built them to suit their individual needs. Only recently have mega corporations rolled out their version of how we should live, and we can see how swimmingly that has gone. Underwater, bankrupt, foreclosed… It’s way, way, way past time to turn the sinking ship around.
Image source: A Low Impact Woodland Home
Note: I believe a home like this can be built faster and more durable with earthbags.