IRELAND SUMMER 2014
SHELTERMAKING DREAMING PROGRAMME
A unique opportunity to experience Sheltermaking with Ireland’s leading exponent of conscious natural debt-free living, Peter Cowman
A wealth of opportunity to engage with the fascinating aspects of architecture+life.
END OF AN ERA
After producing nearly four million of its mini-buses, Volkswagen is putting the brakes on the production line of its iconic Kombi. The vehicle has been one of the car maker’s best sellers, but is struggling to keep up with environmental regulations.
I had my own love affair with a Kombi which was actually my first home …
The following article by Peter Cowman recently appeared in Permaculture UK magazine
Embracing a sustainable way of life involves changing how we provide ourselves with food and shelter.
Permaculture has been phenomenally successful at providing and disseminating a practical, workable and accessible system of natural food production. By comparison the natural building movement has been much less successful at providing practical information about the creation or modification of buildings to support a sustainable way of life.
Where people traditionally provided for their own needs in regards to food and shelter, the job culture introduced by the industrial revolution induced people to sell the time previously devoted to such tasks. While domestic-scale food production did not entirely cease as a result of this new way of life, the practice of building one’s own home did.
ECO BUILDING ON A SHOESTRING
It looks like something straight out of Middle Earth – and the story behind it is almost as fantastical.
This cottage cost just £150 to build, using only natural or reclaimed materials, and is now rented out for a fee of fresh milk and cream.
And with no mains electricity, gas or water, the bills don’t come to much either.
THE TRULLI OF PUGLIA, SOUTHERN ITALY
Trulli are the trademark of Puglia – existing nowhere but the Valley of Itria. Round limestone buildings with conical roofs, they are as magical as they are historical. Dotted across the landscape, alone or in clusters, with one cone or even a dozen, they look like miniature rustic fairytale castles – Asterix meets Disney.
Originally nothing more than farmers’ sheds used to store equipment or animals, the structure is made with the same drystone technique as the low walls that demarcate the olive groves. No cement, just local limestone cut into large, heavy slabs called chiancarelle – carefully positioned to make the perfect water-tight structure.
MICRO HOMESTEADING IN 84sqft/~8sqm
Why are more people not doing this?
Citizens engagement in reducing poverty and inequalities
Responding Together is a project co-financed by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission and DG Democracy of the Council of Europe. It is aimed at mobilising citizens and resources at local level to reduce poverty and inequalities.
Recently, the Living Architecture Centre was invited to participate in this project.