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Re: %ANMeAPs9y

There's a tension in solarpunk between it being aspirational, and it being prescriptive. If it's treated as a traditional genre, it has to somehow have a common look and feel, but treated as a goal, a much more messy space of many different approaches opens up. So I don't get much out of the illustrations that all feel somehow the same.

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Re: %ANMeAPs9y

I am a complete fanatic for cob, and natural building in general. "Hand sculpted house" was perhaps my gateway drug into a completely new lifestyle. The first project I was involved in was building a backyard garden shed/greenhouse structure over a summer. We bought a few yards of sand and ~6-8 bales of straw and roof panels. Everything else was salvaged waste like broken sidewalk (urbanite), wood from pallets, old doors. 0 power tools used, only electricity consumption was playing music while building.

Building is really fun. Mixing cob can be done by dancing/stomping the materials + water on a tarp. Building is grabbing chunks of mixed claylike material, and stacking it on top of the walls being built and working it in with your hands or sticks. Building is also accessible to anyone of any shape, age, size, or ability since there are no standard sizes of materials you have to be able to lift and maneuver, and the worksite is safe and fun the whole time. At the end there is no waste/packaging material to haul away and the only impact on the surroundings was a hole that all the clay was dug out of, which could be filled in with any leftover sand. The whole process felt so much sane to me than spending at least 10 times more money for manufactured material shipped from the other side of the world to act as walls.

However, I also sometimes feel conflicted because I'm also generally very interested in the ideas of Buckminster Fuller. His take on housing, the Dymaxion House, was to repurpose military and aerospace manufacturing capacity to build super high tech, efficient, mass produced housing. ANd even though it offends all of my natural building principles, I have to admit something high-tech like the Dymaxion House does seem pretty cool and probably appealing to some people.

While I of course dream of living in a natural building, my current path has me living in a doublewide manufactured home, and while it isn't high tech or as well thought out or dome shaped, it does have a certain cheapness and efficiency that's easy for a tasteless person like myself to appreciate. So in the immediate term I've decided to stick with the existing functional shelter, and start with a few other projects that I'm more excited about getting started with.

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