Cohabitat Gathering with Max Jensen

CHG2011 – Max Vittrup Jensen – Budynki z Dużych Bali from Eventio on Vimeo.

James Kunstler Podcast

Fantastic podcast led by James Kunstler which dissects suburban sprawl and is actually also quite comical.


Great Earthbag Building Blog

Found this great blog about building with earthbags.

Home Projects and Building

I found this massive playlist of videos about alternative building techniques. I’m not completely sold on the idea of “free energy” as it goes against the laws of physics and has been debunked numerous times over the years. However some of the building videos are quite good.

Straw Building Passes Earthquake Test
Blockhaus Erdbeben log home earthquake test
Montage Rohbau – Passivhaus | Energiesparhaus KfW 40
Wolf Haus – case alla velocità della luce!
Straw Bale House 1,2,3,4,5
How to Build a Straw Bale House : How to Set the Straw Bales to Construct a Straw bale home
How to Build a Straw Bale House : The Benefits of Building a Straw Bale House
How to Build a Straw Bale House : Creating Niches in your Straw Bale Home
How to Build a Straw Bale House : Applying the Last Coat of Cement Stucco
How to Build a Straw Bale House : Creative Ideas for Straw Bale Houses
How to Build a Straw Bale House : Professional Environmental Building Tips
BGH – Seth’s Straw Bale Construction Techniques
Straw Bale Home Construction Instructional Video
Building the garage and workshop
How to Build a Garage in 2 min 39 sec
Build a Garage Workbench Video
From grass to garage Site Evaluation for Straw Bale Building
A house in 10 days
attic buildout vienna, Dachgeschoss-Ausbau Rohdachboden
How to Build a Workbench
Wood Fired Oven
wood/pizza oven
Build your own (small) home –
Building a House is Easy
How to Build a Million Dollar House Dirt Cheap!
How to roof the tiny free house with pallet wood
Why Build a Small House
Build your own Solar Furnace
Building With Awareness DVD Video
Two Penny Solar Collector
Construction of solar collector
Solar Collector From Trash
Homebuilt High Voltage (30kv) DC supply
extra high voltage high current generator 0,2 gigawatts
Underwater SOLAR PANELS 9% Stronger PV Photovoltaic Sun Power
SOLAR CELLS made with METAL Transistors
Simple generator: electric generator for science fair
how to make a generator
Home Made Wind Turbine
How to build a home made wind generator
home made air conditioner
DIY: Make your own Air Conditioner
Vawt wind turbine from P.V.C pipe – £2 ($4)
Bicycle Wheel Windmill
Homemade Vertical Axis Wind Turbine
pvc vertical wind turbine
hydro electric turbine.
Water Power Generator

How to build a geodesic dome

This video shows how to simply build a geodesic dome structure that can be made with some pvc pipe and zip ties.

Intro To Permaculture

Great free series and a very basic intro as to what permaculture is all about. highlights the basic ideals of permaculture, peak oil, and both urban and suburban farming.

This video is an overview of an 18 part Free Internet Webinar Series. This is how we begin our Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) Courses and our 4-Day Suburban/Urban Training Intensives.

James Howard Kunstler’s examines suburbia

Today I discovered James Howard Kunstler. I couldn’t agree more with many of his observations about American suburban life, and I would say that the main reason I left the US was that I really hated the suburbs and everything they stood for. So instead of moving to a larger American city I decided to move to Europe, and have since been living in Czech Republic for almost a decade. But anyway, back to James Howard Kunstler.

James Howards Kunstler speaks about the immersible ugliness of our urban areas in America. He believes that our urban spaces generate despair, but we can do better. Here’s a bit of a background bio.

James Howard Kunstler (born in 1948, New York City, New York) is an American author, social critic, public speaker, and blogger. He is best known for his books The Geography of Nowhere (1994), a history of American suburbia and urban development, and the more recent The Long Emergency (2005), where he argues that declining oil production is likely to result in the end of industrialized society as we know it and force Americans to live in smaller-scale, localized, agrarian (or semi-agrarian) communities. He has written a science fiction novel conjecturing such a culture in the future, World Made by Hand in 2008. He also gives lectures on topics related to suburbia, urban development, and the challenges of what he calls “the global oil predicament” and a resultant change in the “American Way of Life.” He is also a leading proponent of the movement known as “New Urbanism.”

He has many different terms for our current urban, and suburban landscape.
The national automobile slum
suburban sprawl
the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world
technosis externaility cluster fuck

As you can see he blends biting humor and comic relief to his lectures. I think this may have been a natural progression because the topic of suburbia is generally one that few Americans want to address. The shear mass of the problem is so monumental that it seems impossible to overcome. But as oil prices continue to rise I think that Kunstler is spot on in his beliefs that Americans are going to have to seriously change the way they live. Here in Eurpope the problem is also growing, but thankfully there is such a long history of civic architecture here that the impact is nowhere on the scale of the US.

Kunstler believes that the public realm has two roles:
A dwelling place
The physical manifestation of the common good

The idea of being a good citizen is long dead in much of America as many choose to live in homes designed to exclude them from the neighbors and the outside world as much as possible. I can only imagine how a culture which has become so dependent upon the car would function if gas were at 8 dollars a gallon.

The other thing I took from this lecture was James’ term the “nature bandaid.” I think this is a really interesting way of looking at how we try and come up with solutions to make urban spaces greener. Instead of only focusing on greeen space I think we will simply need to build more efficient systems.

The Agro Rebel

Sepp Holzer, the Austrian farmer and forester practices “permaculture” a different kind of farming on his mountain property. With this certain form of organic-agriculture, he is very convincing and successfully. Contrary to all conventional rules and despite annual average temperatures of 4.5°C and an altitude of between 900m-1400m, he cultivates cherries, apples, mushrooms, kiwis, lemons, pumpkins, potatoes and zucchinis. This year he also started big permaculture-projects in Brazil, Columbia, Peru and Venezuela.

Cheap Tiny House


Grow Your Own Food

In this film from the Department of Agriculture we are shown how to design, and create a garden which will provide food for a family during the summer months. Interesting to look at how once gardening and self sufficiency were once valued by the United States Government. Of course in this day and age, after the September 11th attacks Americans weren’t told to be more self sufficient and cause less dependence on foreign oil. Instead Bush told us to go out and buy stuff. How far we’ve come.