When I was a young girl, I went through pads of graph paper designing and redesigning my dream house.  I went from broad sweeping castles to houses with slides from the 2nd story balcony down into a pool, to a more sophisticated modern house complete with indoor pool and multi-level gardens.  Secret rooms were a special treat, as well!

As I grew older, I stopped drawing such things.  No more treasure maps or ball gowns either.  But then I learned about yurts and earthships and started reading books like Design Like You Give a Damn and Yurts: Living in the Round. Architecture and engineering took on whole new dimensions for me (pardon the pun, I slipped!), and a part of me wished I’d chosen such a path.

The more I read about eco-houses, underground homes, and alternative housing materials, the more I begin to believe that I could have a hand in designing–and one day living in–such a home.  Certainly, the boxy, cookie-cutter shape bores me.  No, it devastates me to think of living in one.  The house I’m sharing with my partner was built in the 70’s, but it has character.  Even houses a hundred years old with porches that went most of the way around the house and nostalgic use of round towers give rise to personality.

Yet these eco-homes also take into account the environment, and not just by using green materials, but by considering the ways a house might fight within the landscape, as a part of it, rather than trying to conform the land to suit the house.

My own physical limitations notwithstanding, I think with the right planning and a decent plot of land, we might be able to one day create such a home.  This is where Squirelflight comes in.  Tonight, after I’d finished building a light box, she was playing with the cardboard scraps and said, “I think besides being an artist and a game designer, I might want to also be someone who designs homes as well.”

Cue mama’s inner squeal of glee.  I just posted about underground homes in a my environmental blog!

I said, “You mean an architect?”

“Yeah,” she said, “I think I’d like to design homes.”

“Good, I have some web sites for you.”

Indeed, I have many, many web sites for her.   Here are my favorites:

Woodland Home (under $5000 to build)
Gatehouse Living (around $7000 to build)
Antti Lovag (designer)
9 Alternative Housing Ideas

O2 Treehomes
Blue Forest UK
Finca Bellavista
Free Spirit Spheres

The Venus Project
MVRDV (Netherlands)
Sietch Nevada
Green Building Elements

Tiny House Blog
Tiny House Design
Relax Shacks Microhome Videos

Secret Eco-Village (Wales)
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
Intentional Communities
Sustainable Community Living

If these don’t inspire her, I’m not sure what else will!  I think we’ll have to try our hand at building small things first, since neither of us has any real experience.  She’ll enjoy the design phase, I just hope she’ll find value in the getting-your-hands-dirty phases.  ^_^


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