Archive for development

SCOD Report 2015 Fall – Quest for New Cahokia

Posted in Organic Development, SCOD Status Update Reports with tags , , , , on September 28, 2015 by Drogo

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Aeyla and Drogo conducted a long-distance road-trip vacation-sabbatical from Maryland to Missouri, for the purpose of scouting various sites for case studies and potential projects. First Cahokia was visited and studied for historic perspective on environmental architecture. Then the Boe family farm at Schoen Ridge was visited to investigate potential for a medieval long-house and eco-village. Finally on the way back home, Mark Twain’s boyhood home was toured for literary, economic, and social wisdom. In Indiana, we visited Pat Long; who took us to  Traders Point Creamery: Organic Gardens and Green Architecture (see Barns & Restaurant in photo above). Many other adventures were had along the way, but those stories are for another time when a more detailed account can be recorded.

Sometimes you need to get lost to find yourself; because you can find things while being lost, or lose things when found. Found objects can be lost, and lost objects can be found. A full spectrum of lost and found. Animals have agendas like food and dominance , but are easier to handle. People are like dogs, sometimes they keep trying to bite me, regardless of how i am. Nature is not fair, but compassion is priceless.

All the most important SCOD factors are present with the Boe property. The Boe family homestead is a working farm run by the family with NO full-time paid workers; so it truly is a small family farm of apx. 80 acres and 50-70 animals (fluctuates). The largest city nearby is St. Joseph. The Boe farm is north of Savannah, south of Ravenwood (Ravensborg?), and adjacent to the village of Rosendale (whose buildings are selling for ultra low prices of $500-$1000).

Modest Proposal for Fee of Services as Architect:

We can list all our concerns over the months, and work out issues during scheduled and paid meetings, so we dont waste tons of time in endless debates. we could schedule Longhouse meetings for just before Equinoxes and Solstices, so 4x a year or when funds or needs are low only once a year. perhaps i can only charge for changes and additions, and trade the main drawings for future ability to live there for free for several months or something. Pay shows respect of commitment to a project, beyond the practical need to pay bills. paying me for each meeting, will allow client control on their budget. At $20 an hour, meetings should be reasonable to do things gradually. we can do meetings on skype, or phone, or chatting with text on facebook or email. friends that are like family, loved ones, are special clients with whom there is a trust of sharing, and options should be patiently felt out and pressure alleviated, even for final decisions when they are organically arrived at by all. my role is still the same as before the trip, i dont want to micromanage a scod project without pay or owning it, BUT i can say visiting did clarify the viability of the site and the family’s sincerity towards concept and kindness for sure. In addition, Karen’s volunteering posting in SCOD group certainly proves she believes in the concepts intellectually; but there is no funding for those of us running that social media aspect.

In the mean time; I recommend the Boe family to save money; and collect, cut, and store wood to dry on site: 2″ large flat slabs for tables and beams; 4x4s, 6x6s, 12×12″ etc at various lengths as long as possible. i think we will work things out as we have thus far, continuing to organically define our collaborative art to make everyone happy. There will always be more to do, in a world of ‘way too much’, but we can take breaks and remember to play.

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Future of SCOD

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Organic Development, SCOD Council, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2014 by Drogo

“Sometimes i think about the future of SCOD. It is very much a reality for me. i have been involved with another group of friends that originally began as a book study group based on the works of Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael and later, his other books. This evolved into a discussion group concerned with cultural collapse, environmental collapse and sustainability. This group of friends has maintained relationships with one another since 1997. Many, many people have come and gone in the group, partially due to the mobility of our culture. We had a picnic in the park today and talked about how we came into the group and what made us stay. Over the years we’ve talked about deepening our commitment through tribal ventures, community, etc. None of that has really happened on a grand scale but what has survived is the give support-get support that Quinn talks about in his books.
That brings me to SCOD. i was drawn to SCOD because of the similarities. We don’t have the luxury of physical closeness that my orignal group has (although some of us in our Ishmael group are several miles from each other) since SCODians are spread all over the country… and some outside the country. However, because of the internet we are able to share things on a daily basis. We can ask for advice, learn new things, share our own experiences and ideas. …or just be there if someone needs a friend. Developing local groups is the best way to create commitment, but not always feasible. The SCOD village and pub would make a huge difference as a place to bring all these practices into fruition. There are so many talented, active, caring, sharing people in this group and it would be awesome to get lots of them together in one place.

It is my hope that for those of you that are able, to reach out and be there for each other. As time goes by you will find it is one of the best investments you’ve made in your life. But for now i am content to have all of you people as my friends. Thank you for enriching my life so much and helping me to continue to grow.”

– Karen Boe

Idiot Puncher

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Critical Commentary of Civilization, Environmentalism, Fictional Characters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2013 by Drogo

A Liberal Cartoon by Drogo

A spoof on the book series “Dragon Puncher” by James Kochalka

Idiot Puncher

Idiot Puncher 1

Idiot Puncher 2

S.C.O.D.s

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, SCOD Thesis with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2011 by Drogo

Drogo, Cordite, and Simake dreamt up the origins of the original SCOD in 1994. Drogo Empedocles decided that the Pipedream Pub needed a larger name that embraced more of the architectural and landscape ideas in the 1999 Thesis, so he came up with the title “SCOD: Sustainable Community for Organic Dwelling”. That title included the organic farm and communal dwellings, but Walton Stowell II evolved it into “SCOD: Sustainable Cooperative for Organic Development” which included other alternative projects beyond the Thesis site. The original SCOD lives on as the transcendental heart of all SCODs; past, present, future, and in alternative dimensions and dreams.

There are many S.C.O.D. clones and fakes. Dont be fooled by other SCODs: Sub-committee on Cultural Overlay District, South Coast Oregon Directory, scientific conquest of death, Slight Case of Death, Spinning Circle of Doom, Super-Charged Over-Drive, Scod of Tripod, Sketchy Creepy Old Dude, Skip SCOD, Server Cluster Oracle Dynamic, South Carolina District Optimist International, or the Scottish Council on Deafness. Most of them were created after 2000 (when the SCOD Thesis was published at SCAD in GA). One of the newer ones is ” Strategy, Change & Organisation Development”. While this latest one is only a for-profit seminar, their noble intent is “to connect you to the resources you require to mobilise you in achieving your vision(s)”. At least their mission statement reflects an aspect of the real SCOD, while none of the clones to date are as universal or holistically comprehensive. Why is that? Probably because the original SCOD was designed to encompass and adapt all modes of thought that the clients, workers, and designers bring to it.  Blessed be SCOD.

Organic Design by Frank Lloyd Wright

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Arts (Design & Performance), Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2011 by Drogo

Essay on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Organic Architecture

Taliesin

Fallingwater

Broadacre City

 

American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, borrowed the word ‘Organic’ from his mentor Louis Sullivan. Wright began expressing his own vision of how organic nature applies to design. He tried to define ‘Organic Architecture’ in words, but the truest expression will always be in his designs and how they relate to the landscape.

 

Taliesin East & West

Frank Lloyd Wright formed the Taliesin Fellowship dedicated to organic design, education, and spiritual theory and practice. It later evolved into the FLW Foundation, and Taliesin Architects continued after Wright’s death. Wright built two small Communities based on his designs and theories. Taliesin East was built first on 600 acres in Wisconsin. Then Taliesin West was built on 600 acres in Arizona. Both developments respected the landscape by leaving much of it natural, while fitting in artistic architecture using site features. Both remained in a constant state of evolution during Wright’s lifetime.

 

Fallingwater

Fallingwater was a unique residence designed by Wright which show-cases his Organic Architecture. The natural organic landscape meets his organic designs above a waterfall. I was awarded a student residency there in high school, and every day for weeks we went down to the cold waters of Bear Run to wake up and begin our sketches and studies. Inside the house, concrete rests on stone, and the woods are seen through generous windows. That house has more of a give and take between the architecture and the landscape (including the water) than most other modern buildings in the World.

 

Broadacre City

Broadacre City was designed to show how various types of buildings should be organized in urban planning, using Organic Architecture. The hypothetical City was 4 square miles and published first in his Disappearing City, 1932 and continued to evolve until his death in 1959. One important rule was that the tallest buildings (sky-scrapers) should have enough open space around them so their shadows do not fall upon other buildings. Another factor was giving most residents one acre to build their own houses based on Usonian models. It was an effort to take the new concept of suburbs to a Utopian extreme by furthering the concept of combining rural and urban while striving to keep the best of both. Broadacre decentralized urban design, and lay grid upon rural country; advocating that the desire for suburban life be fully granted. Mass transportation would still be available at stations, but freedom was maintained through the use of individual vehicles on the roads and in the air.

 

 

Garden Cities by Ebenezer Howard

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Book Reports, Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by Drogo

From the book Garden Cities of To-morrow by Ebenezer Howard 1898, 1902

Ebenezer Howard was a shop keeper’s assistant, farmer, writer, sociologist, and statesman. Howard valued good living conditions, democracy, nature, human rights, and personalities. Osburn and Mumford added notes that introduce, critique, review, and praise Howard. JH Osburn claims Howard may have been influenced by Bellamy’s book Looking Backward. According to Lewis Mumford Howard was also inspired by Spense, Buckingham, Wakefield, George, and Kropotkin. Howard’s narrow building lots were handed down from medieval English dimensions (20 x 130 ft).

Garden Cities of To-morrow begins by describing the “Three Magnets”: Town, Country, and Town-Country. Howard explains why we are attracted to the best of both Town and Country aspects. Town-Country benefits have cooperation, beauty, nature, green fields, green parks, good utilities, good commerce, social opportunity, high wages, low rents, low price rates, and low pollution!

In most chapters, Howard proposes how Garden Cities would function with diagrams. He describes inter-connected urban nodes. Central City is shown with a constellation of satellite micro-cities (garden cities, towns, villages, developments). Garden Cities at their heart have a central garden, with rings of dwellings, shops, roads, industry, fields, and farms. The ordered layout is meant to improve biological, social, economic, and personal life for everyone.

Howard considered some difficulties with analytic self-criticism. He saw the weak points in his plans, and how they might fail. This foresight can allow us to prepare for the worst problems, to better shape designs for the future. He maintained that human ideals are worth trying; quoting Darwin “Selfish and contentious men will not cohere, and without coherence nothing can be accomplished,”. Howard believed that Socialism and Individualism must come together in the future to realize a true, vital organic society and state.

Ebenezer Howard felt that Garden Cities would work, because the plans were based on understanding human nature. He indicated that Urban or Communal failures are a result of the ‘Duality Principle’ (Janus). Ignorance of the Duality Principle allows kindred mistakes, by regarding one principle action to the exclusion of others. Howard believed we are all communists to some degree, even those that shudder at being told this, because we believe in roads, parks, and libraries. Individualism is no less excellent, in his mind, as he compares good society to an orchestra that plays together, but practice separately. Expense, however, always tends to get in the way of progress.

Sir Raymond Unwin worked with Howard. In 1903 they designed and established the first Garden City in England, named ‘Letchworth’. Letchworth proved a success, and in 1919 the second Garden City ‘Welwyn’ was founded. By 1950 the cities had a combined population of over 40,000. The account of their success is given in Purdom’s Building of Satellite Towns. Some key points regarding the study of Garden Cities are: how urban and rural districts connect, health and sanitation, zoning limitations of density and sprawl allowing light, gardens, and leisure, harmony rather than standardization, communications, ownership and cooperative leasing, public freedom and choice of enterprise.

Contemporary critics dismissed “Garden Cities” as more akin to the fantasy of H.G. Wells, than to the realities of urban planning. Despite the critics, Garden Cities of To-morrow is cited in countless planning bibliographies, and provides an organic alternative to bleak industrial future city-scapes. So what happened? Our suburbs in America do not follow his models, although some are better than others. Howard wanted to keep the city, town, and country distinct from each other, unlike amorphous suburban sprawl. He wanted more green around and in cities, by confining and condensing urban development, to keep the country rural, pastoral, and agrarian; yet integrating their foundations for healthy and function living.

“The pathway of any experiment worth achieving, is strewn with failures. Success is, for the most part, built on failure.”  – Ebenezer Howard

“Creative work always arises by the synthesis in one’s mind of material from otherwise unrelated sources…”  – J.H. Osburn

SCOD Thesis 2000 Spiritual Phases

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Organic Agriculture & Horticulture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by Drogo

music by Shepherdstown Band:  BRUHA