Within Local Futures’ broad focus on promoting economic localization – shifting our economies towards place-based, ecological, human-scale activity – we promote vernacular and traditional knowledge, skills, practices and cultures, including in the built environment.
Closely weaving together habitation, community, and society, Arnie pays attention to how culture was and is created.
I admit it. It was me who brought the crazy house-building scheme into our marriage. But he encouraged me! If he hadn’t, I would have given up somewhere along the way. But I didn’t, and we built a house using light straw clay. How on Earth did that happen?
These days, human-scale straw bales have been largely replaced by mammoth cylinders that require mammoth farm equipment; another way we have used the cheap energy of recent decades to burn our bridges. If you can find some of the old rectangular, metre-long bales, however, they can be put to many uses.
These days, you spend your life paying off a house, and even building a shed or animal shelter can be expensive…For thousands of years, though, people used a simpler technique that used nothing but natural, local materials.
The Nubian Vault Association has evolved a quite different approach: the long-term, muti-dimensional cultivation of living local economies based on three kinds of value: a roof, a skill, and a market.
Whatever we do in Cyprus doesn’t really stay in Cyprus. It’s like the effect gets multiplied and spread, from here to the nearby regions, and from there on.
This is the story of how a simple idea forever changed my life, as well as the lives of many others.
My first step onto an earthen floor (sometimes called a ‘poured adobe’ floor) awakened me.
I spent part of last week at a workshop offered by the Mudgirls, a natural building collective in British Columbia.
I like to think that it’s the sort of place Shakespeare’s ghost visits now and then. Arriving unseen through the thick walls, seating himself at the back and enjoying plays – all manner of plays…
As part of our month’s exploration of the theme of ‘scaling up’, I recently visited Ottery St. Mary in East Devon to see Kevin McCabe, his wife Rose, and the extraordinary new cob house he has spent the last 3 years building.