Archive for planning

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

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Overnight Backpack Camping Gear

Posted in Hikes, Trips, Walks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2014 by Drogo

Hiking Two Days / Camping One Night / Warm Weather

Backpack Camping Gear for Hiking to a Camping Spot and Back

Notes: I prefer to camp during the Summer (70-90 temps). Having hiked and camped almost every year of my life, i do not wear rain gear. Since im only a leisure hiker, i prefer to hike without rain; if  it rains I stop, set up a tarp, and prepare a small fire pit under the edge of the tarp to dry any wet clothing or gear until it stops. I keep the fire small so the heat does not go high enough to burn the tarp. More gear is needed for colder weather (below 70 degrees F). This list is only for nice, warm days and nights.

(this is Drogo’s opinion based on his American hiking experiences)

I divide the backpack gear into 3 categories (they are all related though):  Shelter, Cooking, and Personal Items

Shelter:  sleeping bag, straps, long cord, 2 tarps (minimum 7’x7′), tent / hammock (lighter weight for smaller people), sheet (blanket if chilly), flashlight

Cooking:  cook-pot (durable with secure lid), food (keep safe in cook-pot), water containers (minimum 2 liters), bowl / cup (durable), utensils (spoon, knife), fire items (scrap paper, matches, lighter)

Personal:  clothes (pants, shirt, 2 underwears, 2 sock pairs, head cover), Off, odorizer (deodorant, scented oil, lotion), medicine (prescriptions, spiritual, relaxant, celebration), medical kit (anti-bacterial, bandages),  tooth-brush & paste; small musical device (ipod, harmonica, flute), cell phone / camera, small book, writing tools (paper, pencils, pens, markers), towel / washcloth, walking stick…

* Drogo’s Common Backpack (personal preference)

backpack

pack inventoryTents

* see also:  Survival Inventory List

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