Archive for the Organic Architecture Category

BOG Peeps

Posted in Environmentalism, Organic Agriculture & Horticulture, Organic Architecture, Organic Development, Organic Gardens, Pagan, Psychology, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2013 by Drogo

Beautiful Organic Garden People

This art series advocates Organic Agriculture (Gardening / Farming / Foraging), Permaculture, and Sustainable Architecture. A series of ‘beautiful’ images of humans and animals, males and females, working or meditating or playing in the garden, farm field, barn, orchard, or wilderness…. poses not bound to traditional commercial or pinup surface objectification… in favor of equal-rights showing strength, intelligence, and skill. One idea being that people will see attractive or cute people and other sentient beings gardening, and more and more people will want to garden and feel or look like them; and by relating to them, they will want to garden; and vice versa. Based on “Organic Pinup Girls” project, expanded.

Plant Weed*

Pocahantas*

Mattock Hoes*

SCOD Hoveland*

flower cutngather*

women-planting-tree-outdoor*

Apollo on Apollo*

angel pixie apples*

Adevik*

Celtic Couple 2*

Grow Together*

Vegirl_1*

Cheri Tyvm*

Keith psyche

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* BOG PEEP Book – for sale on Amazon

Journalist Laura Flanders about SCOD Bog Peeps – “If I had to pick an avatar from those cool Organic gardeners, I’d go for the green haired woman with the shoulder tattoo and the shovel. Funnily enough, I just walked inside after a morning spent wielding a machete in an overgrown garden.” – in an email to Drogo 8/2/2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tornado Architecture

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Organic Architecture, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2013 by Drogo

BUILD UNDERGROUND!!!

As an architect, this has been my consistent advice for all people living within tornado areas. Sure underground construction costs a few thousand more than most crappy track houses, but it is worth it when you know that having a normal house makes you an easy target for the common natural disasters that occur in that area. Government (State or Federal) should get with it, and supply financial incentives to get most homes underground now! There is no reason to wait. If you want to keep your house and most things in your house safe, you need an underground house; not just a separate storm shelter or basement.

I would never live in an area that has tornadoes without living in an underground house, if I had any money or respect for life at all.

– Drogo Empedocles

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Savannah, Georgia

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Historic Architecture, Organic Architecture, Recommendations & Tributes, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2013 by Drogo

Historic Architecture, Environmental Landscape, and Urban Social Art

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Savannah has the historic integrity of an ivy-league campus, yet for the poor as well as rich. Yes, it is very much the old pirate ‘Port Royal’ still, but in some ways it also surpasses the nobility of elite university campuses. Even the SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) campus is spread throughout the city, and SCAD classes are held in renovated industrial buildings, often with Richardsonian strength; so that liberal education is fully-integrated with the city. As far as competing with modern industrial metropolitan cities, Savannah has plenty of modern and post-modern architecture, and SCAD teaches cutting-edge technology; but it has no desire to be as massively impersonal as New York, or any other major city.

Savannah urban design is overwhelmingly utopian, despite there being dystopian flavors as well. The main streets force cars to either park or drive around the eleven park squares (circuses), while pedestrians can go straight through on sidewalks and bike lanes. It is easy to find any place in the formal city because there are no diagonal streets, one tall building in the middle (DeSoto Hotel), and a few tall buildings downtown parallel with the Savannah River. The downtown main-streets (River Street) on Saint Patrick’s Day are celebrated on par with Mardi-Gras. There are so many unique aspects to Savannah, from its very origins. The basic ‘Roman encampment’ grid urban layout is flavored by multiple circuses with vegetation. Live-oaks, palms, and crepe-myrtle trees are naturally hung with Spanish moss. From sandy soil hedges, herbs, flowers and grasses are also publicly grown for the enjoyment of all.

I will find out more about the city founders, besides Oglethorpe; specifically the Native American chief of the local Creek Indians, because he seems to deserve the same level of respect as the English founder, Oglethorpe. The British and Indians were friends, and one of the largest monuments in a prominent park is dedicated to the Indian Chief’s grave. Southern hospitality is less surface courtesy in Savannah, and more a part of its essence; in regards to integration of whites and blacks, international representation, multi-culturalism, and willingness to welcome even enemies (like General Sherman during the Civil War).

There are several ways to consider the social types that comprise the ‘daily population’ of Savannah. There are five basic social types; the rich residents (white blue-blood aristocracy and new-money millionaires), the poor working-class (merchant and service residents and workers), the street beggars (homeless, hustlers, artists), SCAD students (artists, professors, staff), and tourists (pedestrian, trolley, horse-buggy).

According to Dr. Hsu-Jen Huang (SCAD Architecture Professor), Savannah has been growing, even during the recession. In ten years, the city population and SCAD enrollment have doubled. Some buildings still fall between the cracks, but for every loss two more renovations or new constructs emerge. After the 1994 book Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil, Savannah has continued to blossom as one of the best cities in the World. Many of its qualities were always inherent in the original urban design, and it continues to grow because of accepted differences.

From the American Revolution, to the Civil War, and beyond; Savannah embraces its strange stories. It has an other-worldly, old world, old town feel. Ghost tours are quite at home with the lamp-lights, cobblestone streets, brick walkways, and French ironwork balconies. It is in fact a small city; one which favors pedestrian traffic more than automobiles. The whole downtown is walkable, and locals often easily commute with bicycles as well (as I did for 3 years).

There are so many fun things to do there, it might be hard to know were to begin; if Savannah were not an immediately immersible, hospitable environment. The whole city is a memory garden, which literally blooms because of all the flowers. There are less flowers and leaves in the Winter, but Fall, Winter, and Spring are best weather-wise; as there is rarely snow, and Summers are often walls of heat and humidity (which it is known for even during Fall and Spring).

Architecturally Savannah is truly unique, with historic world and southern romantic blends. Town-houses often have the side-porch design, as with nearby Charleston, SC. The cast-iron railings and french dormers have that New Orleans feel. Parks and trees really do make a huge difference for traffic. Even while continuing to grow, Savannah is still one of the most colorful and pedestrian friendly cities in America. I can say after living there, the magic is real; including the variety of character personalities that the famous book alludes to.

Midnight In the Garden of Good & Evil describes much of the architectural and social feel of the town. ‘Midnight’ the book has much more analysis of detail, while the film has literally has more visual images. I lived in three parts of town, and often passed by famous landmarks on daily commutes to classes. The main character’s house (Mercer Mansion) is on Bull Street along a square, towards the largest city park, Forsyth Park. Forsyth Park was my favorite park that I loved living on, because of the large open grass lawns, largest and most beautiful fountain, organic paths, and shady flora. There I was free to publicly practice Tai-Chi, hippy folk music, or jogging without much bother.

Most of this essay describes the utopian aspects of Savannah, but this paragraph should put some of the dystopian perspectives in context. The poor and the dead, out-number the rich and the living. Southern swamp-lands naturally have a salty entropic power that corrodes metals, moisture that promotes the decay of organic matter, and massive humidity that stifles productive activity, while encouraging roaches and gnats. The humane social ‘decadence’ of the town, allows for an ease of poverty. Kindness tolerates and sometimes falls prey to hustlers. Vandalism and theft are common crimes in Savannah, with the occasional mugging (typical of cities in general). Although crimes are committed by lower classes, the majority (which are poor) are respectful, lawful, and often generous. So you see despite the ‘scariness’, actual dangers are minimal for a city.

Savannah’s name appropriately indicates the climate heat, and the flat field look of the surrounding wetland marsh grasses. Old pirate maps referred to the lands inland along the River as ‘Savannah Land’. Google Street view is very impressive, with realism. It really helps get the feel for the freedom of moving through the town by photographic vista. In the 1990’s we were taking panoramic photos for architecture projects so it really feels appropriate. Day trips easily include the famous Bonaventure Cemetery, Oatland Island Wildlife Center, and Tybee Island Beach.

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THE 12 PERMACULTURE DESIGN PRINCIPLES

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Economics, Environmentalism, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Organic Agriculture & Horticulture, Organic Architecture, Organic Development, Philosophy, Psychology on May 14, 2012 by growing togehter

The 12 permaculture design principles

The core of permaculture has always been in supplying a design toolkit for human habitation. This toolkit helps the designer to model a final design based on an observation of how ecosystems interact.

  1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture

Hilltop Hotel Ruins 2010

Posted in Historic Architecture, Organic Architecture, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by Drogo

Hilltop Hotel Ruins 2010


Multi-Million Dollar Terrorists did this, by purchasing the Hotel and then without negotiation, condemning it. Then without talking to the architect of the 2000 Master Plan, designed something 3x the size (from scale drawings) after this is demolished.

Oh and removing a central beam from the porch without replacing it helped alot. Why not help demolition along? Holding a landmark property hostage, without real negotiation of design, it is treated as disposable for corporate greed. It shows disdain for the local community, common among out-of-town big-buck investors.

So much for historic preservation and a place for lower income people to visit (like Appalachian Trail Hikers). So much for the Presidential Green Award that was given to the Hotel in the 1990’s. So much for Sustainable Maintenance improvements and designs. So much for Environmental Eco-Cabins, earth-sheltered into the historic hillside. So much for local architects being respected.

Hello Bribes!

Welcome Bubble economics and Madeoff schemes! So long ghosts of an old building that few professionals would touch. Perhaps those ghosts will continue to haunt the grounds. Perhaps after demolition, the property will be sold to Middle Class Americans, like the original family that built it, the Lovetts. And perhaps someday, that family can start from scratch, with one house, open to all.

For the right way to handle the Hilltop House Hotel property, read this article:  The Historic Hilltop House, Revisited

Maintenance of a Boarding House

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Organic Architecture, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2009 by Drogo

Maintenance of a Boarding House requires a minimum of weekly tasks all year round, dependent on the quality and quantity of existing structures and grounds. The principle structure is often a Mansion, or Manor House.  The house itself is complex, as it has inner needs as well as outer needs. Outside the exterior of the building must keep the unwanted elements out, while allowing access safely to the tenants. Inside, the interior of the building should have functioning utilities and furniture, all of which are subject to the condition of the exterior. Leaks can damage the interior decor as well as the exterior and interior structural strength of the house.

Tenants of the Boarding House pay Rent, which is used to repair the house, make improvements, and pay bills for the property. Bills include Utilities, Taxes, and Mortgages. Utilities include electric, water, sewer, garbage, and others. Rent may be on a Daily, Monthly, or Lease agreement. The term “boarding” originally meant “meals served on a board” (as in “room and board”), in which Boarding Houses would be more like a long stay B&B (Bed and Breakfast), with the emphasis more on dinner meals.

It is an important task of the Landlord to keep tenants that pay rent on time. If rent is paid regularly, then bills should be paid and the architectural condition of the building should be maintained. The Landlord is to then appropriately utilize the funds provided by rent. This in turn keeps renters interested in paying rent to live there. Communal tasks, events, or meals are secondary to the function of affording the shelter.

While the Landlord often owns the property, the owner may delegate responsibilities to a custodian or relative who acts as the Landlord. Boarding Houses often hire local workers, but do not usually have estate staff like a Hotel or traditional Manor House. The Landlord may do most of the work themselves to maintain the property. If the Landlord has family, often they share in the duties, or work elsewhere to supplement family funds to various degrees.

The amount of rent paid cumulatively by all the tenants, should be relative to overall costs of maintaining and improving the properties of the House. Although high rent can provide better facilities, the reality is that many renters can not afford to pay high rent. Therefore a balanced Boarding House will have rooms of all sizes and features, lesser rooms for less rent, and more room and amenities for more rent. Slum Houses held by Slumlords, are usually the result of poor incomes only able to afford small rooms and cheap expenses, and rich incomes produce Manor Houses, with poor income renters as the servants.

It is generally the floor plan of the building that determines whether it is called a Boarding House, or an Apartment House (or Tenement House). Boarding Houses are functionally closer to family households, because those who live there share more of the architectural features and costs of utilities. Boarding Houses have common rooms, including Kitchens and Dining Rooms, that are more “house like”. Apartment Houses are usually partitioned into more independent clusters of rooms, for more private divisions of renting. Apartment Houses share common rooms that are more utilitarian, and the Apartment Buildings themselves are usually located in the city, and therefore not usually “houses” at all, but rather Townhouses. Terms that better describe urban multistory apartment complexes and their function, are “apartment buildings” or Townhouse Apartment Buildings.

Green House Design

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Environmentalism, Organic Architecture with tags , , , , , on June 16, 2009 by Drogo

Although the title is pun, the play on words is intentional to provoke environmental thought towards architecture.  A “Green House” is normally a Solarium (Sun Room) that is an independent structure (stand-alone).  To allow maximum sunlight into the space, glass (or another translucent or transparent material) panels are set in metal or wood framework.

In the modern age, we must go beyond limiting indoor spaces for growing things to only glass structures, our main homes should be called “Green Houses”.  Eventually as more truly “Green Houses” are built, glass structures only for plants will be called “Green Sheds”, “Plant Houses”, or “Glass Sheds”. Nomenclature is subservient  however, to understanding the importance of living as GREEN as possible.

Green Houses p1 “Ecological Building Designs”
This is a non-profit survey of Green Houses, or Homes Designed Green or Built of Ecologically-Sustainable Materials. There are many forms of Alternative / Green or Sustainable or Environmental or Eco-Friendly architecture. Forms include: Earthships, Earth-Shelter, Passive/Active Solar, Recycled-Reused, Bio-Degradable Temp, or Perma-Sustainable etc…

Enjoy the Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIdzjCynWeo