Videos uploaded by user “Kirsten Dirksen”
Backyard farmers by necessity: self-sufficient & debt-free
When Myrna and Earl Fincher married 53 years ago they started farming their yard "out of necessity". Today, the Finchers make a living selling their organic produce to restaurants and at the local farmers' market twice a week for much of the year. They had no experience as farmers, but learned by trial and error.
Views: 542649 Kirsten Dirksen
Lego-style apartment transforms into infinite spaces
Christian's hotel inspired by LEGO flat: https://youtu.be/MvJfN9jTS5s When Christian Schallert isn't cooking, dressing, sleeping or eating, his 24 square meter (258 square feet) apartment looks like an empty cube. To use a piece of furniture, he has to build it. Located in Barcelona's hip Born district, the tiny apartment is a remodeled pigeon loft. Designed by architect Barbara Appolloni, Christian says the space was inspired by the space-saving furniture aboard boats, as well as the clean lines of a small Japanese home. Christian sold his apartment and has reinvested his money and small space design ideas in opening a small hotel in Barcelona: www.hotelbrummell.com Christian Schallert, photographer: www.instagram.com/christianschallert Spanish-version tour with architect Barbara Appolloni: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/un-mini-apartamento-que-se-transforma-en-infinitos-espacios/ Architect Barbara Appolloni: http://www.barbaraappolloni.com/works_christianHouse.html Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/lego-style-apartment-transforms-into-infinite-spaces/
Views: 30706786 Kirsten Dirksen
Thoreauvian simple living: unelectrified, timeless tiny home
Seven years ago Diana and Michael Lorence moved to a 12-foot-square home without electricity in the coastal mountains of Northern California.  They're not back-to-the-land types- they're not growing their own food, nor raising animals-, but, like Thoreau, they were looking for a place where they could get away from the noise of society and focus on their inner lives. For nearly 30 years they have lived in tiny houses, often in guest homes, though their current abode is the smallest and most fitting their needs. It was designed by Michael based on their experiences living in nearly 20 tiny homes across the country before finally settling here.  They don't have electricity nor any other type of alternative energy (i.e. solar power). They don't have a refrigerator so they eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts.  There's also no oven, but Diana says she doesn't bake anyway and she cooks their meals with their one cast iron pot over the fire. The fire is also their source of hot water, heat and light (in addition to candles). The Lorences are a private couple, but recently they have begun to speak out more about their lives in hopes of showing others that options such as theirs exist. Until now, the couple has turned down requests appear on video, not wanting to be categorized as simply another couple choosing to live in a tiny space. So I was pleasantly surprised when Diana and Michael agreed to let me visit their home with my camera. Original story here: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/thoreauvian-simple-living-unelectrified-timeless-tiny-home/
Views: 1497997 Kirsten Dirksen
Oldest US mall blends old/modern with 225-sq-ft micro lofts
The Providence Arcade is nearly 2 centuries old, but when Evan Granoff bought it was considered one of the city’s most endangered properties. Realizing that the demand for commercial space would never match that for downtown housing, Granoff decided to convert the upper floors of the country's first indoor mall into tiny loft apartments. At just 225 square feet, the smallest units would have fallen below the city’s minimum size standard for apartments so Granoff decided to classify his micro-lofts as a rooming house. The Providence rooming house code allows for rooms as small as 80 square feet (single occupancy), as long as they don’t have a cooking facility. Fortunately, for Granoff and tenants, a microwave is not considered a cooking device. The tiniest units rent for $550 per month, almost half the city average, and all of them rented out almost immediately (there’s now a waiting list). Many of the tenants don’t spend a lot of time at home. We talked to Naz Karim, a doctor who works emergency room shifts, and plans to spend much of the year on a fellowship in Africa and Sharon Kinnier who uses the loft for when she’s working in a Providence lab formulating organic cosmetics (she spends the rest of the time with her husband in Washington D.C.). The bottom floor of the mall is still commercial, but Granoff limits it to micro retail so no chains and they’re all focused on fashion and art design. We stopped in at nude boutique where Amy Stetkiewicz, one of the 6 local designers, was closing up shop downstairs from her micro loft. Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/225-square-foot-micro-lofts-in-historic-providence-mall/
Views: 4784338 Kirsten Dirksen
Space saving furniture that transforms 1 room into 2 or 3
Resource Furniture sells bookshelves, couches and desks- and a combination of the above- that are so highly engineered that they gracefully transform into beds. Gone is the amusing awkwardness of Murphy Beds, this more modern transforming furniture (much of it designed and made in Italy y Clei) is high style and almost, well, magical. Hydraulics make the transition from bookshelf or couch to bed a smooth and effortless thing to marvel. More info on original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/space-saving-furniture-that-transforms-1-room-into-2-or-3/
Views: 5576664 Kirsten Dirksen
Nebraska retiree uses earths's heat to grow oranges in snow
Winter temperatures in Alliance, Nebraska can drop to -20°F (the record low is -40°F/C), but retired mailman Russ Finch grows oranges in his backyard greenhouse without paying for heat. Instead, he draws on the earth's stable temperature (around 52 degrees in his region) to grow warm weather produce- citrus, figs, pomegranates - in the snow. Finch first discovered geothermal heating in 1979 when he and his wife built it into their 4400-square-foot dream home to cut energy costs. Eighteen years later they decided to add a 16'x80' greenhouse in the backyard. The greenhouse resembles a pit greenhouse (walipini) in that the floor is dug down 4 feet below the surface and the roof is slanted to catch the southern sun. To avoid using heaters for the cold Nebraska winter nights, Finch relies on the warm underground air fed into the greenhouse via plastic tubing under the yard and one fan. Finch sells a "Citrus in the Snow" report detailing his work with his "geo-air" greenhouses and says anyone can build a market-producing greenhouse for about $25,000 or "less than the cost of a heat system on a traditional greenhouse". https://greenhouseinthesnow.com/ https://faircompanies.com/videos/nebraska-retiree-uses-earthss-energy-to-grow-oranges-in-nebraska-cold/
Views: 1164257 Kirsten Dirksen
A tiny home tour: Jay Shafer's 89-square-foot home on wheels
Jay Shafer of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives us a tour of his 89-square-foot home on wheels parked in Sebastapol, California. He sells plans for the Epu model for $859. Ready made: $45,997 Build it yourself: $19,950 Jay Shafer- Four Lights: http://www.fourlightshouses.com/pages/about-jay-shafer Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/a-tiny-home-tour-living-in-96-square-feet/
Views: 2048844 Kirsten Dirksen
Mortgage-free, tiny home on a housekeeper's salary
Johnny Sanphillippo has never made more than $20,000 per year (he works as a housekeeper, as well as, a gardener and house painter), but he knew like "any other American" that he wanted to own his own home. When he talked to bankers about qualifying for a home loan, "they look at you and their eyes glaze over and you realize, they're going to give me a lollipop and send me home, which is pretty much what happened". So he decided that if he went far enough away from his hometown of San Francisco he could find something he could afford to buy with cash. He finally heard about a deal in Hawaii (back when oil was cheap and airline tickets were $99 from SFO) and for $3000 cash he bought himself an empty lot in a failed subdivision on the Big Island. Without a loan, he knew he couldn't afford to build a conventional home. He'd always loved tiny houses, but the permitting office wasn't as enthusiastic about allowing him to build small. So he had plans drawn up for a conventionally-sized home, plus a 400 square foot garage. He just built the garage. Once the inspectors signed off on his fully-equipped garage (which included a bathroom, utility sink, electricity, septic system and rainwater capture), he let them know he wasn't planning on building the house. Then he set about swapping the garage door for sliding glass and the utility sink for a regular kitchen. Instead of relying on a loan to buy a house up-front, he had to do it the slow way, in stops and starts as he worked to pay off he step of the process. First, he saved up for a foundation, then the shell, then septic, etcetera and today, 13 years later, the home is complete. Johnny Sanphillippo's blog: http://granolashotgun.com/ Original story & more info: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/mortgage-free-tiny-home-on-a-housekeepers-salary/
Views: 1390836 Kirsten Dirksen
Un mini-apartamento que se transforma en infinitos espacios
Cuando Christian Schallert no se está vistiendo, cocinando, durmiendo o comiendo, su diminuto apartamento loft de 24 metros cuadrados en Barcelona se convierte en un cubo vacío. El apartamento se adapta a las necesidades de Schallert en cada momento, sin que por ello el espacio sea permanente ocupado por una cama, una gran mesa, o la cocina. Diseñado por Barbara Appolloni: http://www.barbaraappolloni.com/ Lee la rayueliana "Trilogía del Largo Ahora" por Nicolás Boullosa de *faircompanies: http://www.amazon.com/Nicol%C3%A1s-Boullosa/e/B00CQ92EKW Reportaje original aquí: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/un-mini-apartamento-que-se-transforma-en-infinitos-espacios/
Views: 9294976 Kirsten Dirksen
Tiny matchbox apartment hides closet & bathtub in drawers
Micro-apartments are common in historically dense cities like Paris and Barcelona, but architect Valentina Maini wasn't interested in typical small space solutions like lofted sleeping quarters or murphy beds. She wanted her 25 square meter home (269 square feet) to look a bit more conventional, but to stack functions. She hired a carpenter to create a dining table that slides over a matching bench to create more room for guests (she's had 20 over for wine and cheese). She didn't stop there. The bench also slides to reveal a full-sized bathtub: her micro-spa. Valentina filled her need for leg-less chairs using traditional zen tatami chairs that can be placed above her bathtub/bench for eating or reading or removed for bath hour (or used to create a viewing lounge outside her balcony window). Not interested in the daily work involved in a transforming bed, Valentina simply raised her mattress a few extra feet and set to work creating a closet below. Recycling three large cabinets from her former work place (her tiny pad is now also her home office), she created sliding drawers for clothing that tuck within sliding drawers for the cabinets that all tuck neatly beneath her sleeping quarters (though if she'd had 20 centimeters more in height she would have created a hanging closet within the cabinets). More in original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/tiny-matchbox-apartment-hides-closet-bathtub-in-drawers/ Valentina Maini: www.valentinamaini.net
Views: 2158805 Kirsten Dirksen
California DIY, shipping container tiny home and a cargo trailer bedroom
Lulu is a single mom who'd gone back to school and didn't have the time or interest in working full-time to pay for rent. So when she had to move out of her more conventional home, she decided to move herself and her daughter into a shipping container. With no building experience, Lulu spent just one month cutting windows and a door and installing insulation and a basic kitchen (complete with propane-powered campstove and on-demand water heater).  Then she and her daughter moved into the 8 by 20 foot square foot home, fitting a bed, couch, bookshelf and kitchen cabinets into the 160 square foot box. When Lulu decided they needed a bit more space, she went from shipping to trucking waste and began to build their bedroom on a used flatbed trailer. "It's really mostly built like a shed. It's a nice looking shed, but it's really an 8 by 16 shed with windows in it." Using only recycled building materials- including used floorboards, windows, cabinets, doors, bathtub, toilet and sinks- she built the entire thing for about $4,000 (trailer included). Original story here: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/california-shipping-container-tiny-home-cargo-trailer-room/ Music credit: "I Am a Man Who Will Fight for Your Honor" by Chris Zabriskie (http://chriszabriskie.com/)
Views: 12215077 Kirsten Dirksen
Tiny, portable, prefab cube shelters in medieval French town
They're just 3 meters (9.8 feet) by 3 meters and just about as high. They'd make great tiny homes, but these portable cube prefabs- they can be moved on a flatbed (in 2 parts) and dropped anywhere with a forklift- are being used across France as rural hotels. Carré d'étoiles translates to "box of stars" and this vacation prefab was designed for stargazing, with a large domed skylight just feet above the lofted bed. It's less than 100 square feet, but it sleeps four (platform and sofa beds) and includes a kitchen with stove, sink and refridgerator, sitting area, a bathroom, a shower, plus storage and shelving. They're not cheap, but the 30,900 euro (~$40,000) price tag, includes all transport to the site and marketing (since it's assumed they'll be used as vacation rentals). In this video, Caroline of the Carrés d'étoiles de la Paleine, France shows us the three cubes she has installed on the premises of her home/chateau/hotel in the medieval village of Puy-Notre-Dame (in the Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional park). Original story here: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/tiny-portable-prefab-cube-shelters-in-medieval-french-town/
Views: 417209 Kirsten Dirksen
Austin coder builds timeless cob home using precise patterns
When Gary Zuker bought an undeveloped piece of land outside of Austin (Texas) 25 years ago, he knew the only way he could afford a home on it was to build it himself. With no building experience, he immersed himself in architecture books at the University of Texas (where he works as a computer engineer). He fell in love with medieval straw-clay cottages and cob buildings from around the world. After just a day learning the technique on another build, he was ready to build his own home. Besides advice from an architect friend to use a scissor-truss system for roof support, some help with framing, stone-work and plumbing, Zuker worked alone (no building permits were required in Travis County at that time). The build ended up taking him 3 years (nights and weekends while working full-time) and cost about $40,000 ($25,000 to build the house and $15,000 for the well and septic system). Zuker was heavily influenced by the classic design handbook A Pattern Language (written mainly by architect Christopher Alexander) so rather than designing the home ahead of time, he waited to decide on details until after the home was under construction. More patterns from Gary: http://placepatterns.org/place/the-zuker-house/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/austin-coder-builds-timeless-cob-home-using-precise-patterns/
Views: 409520 Kirsten Dirksen
Amaranth: a superfood for the backyard gardener
Cultivated as a grain for 8,000 years, today, Amaranth is gaining popularity as a crop of the future. It's a very adaptable, drought-tolerant and hardy plant; in fact, most species of Amaranthus are classified as a weed (commonly known as pigweed). It's also a kind of superfood; it's high in protein (12-17%), calcium (more than spinach) and amino acids like lysine (deficient in most grains). The leaves are high in vitamins A and C, riboflavin, and folic acid.
Views: 91126 Kirsten Dirksen
Raw milk: Idaho ranchers on why not to pasteurize
In 1987 the FDA banned interstate shipping of raw milk and today it's retail sale is only legal in dozen or so states. There's a very devoted group who believe that pasteurized milk is "dead milk" and are fighting to make it easier to buy. Raw milk has such a following that people form secret clubs or buy portions of a cow in order to circumvent state laws regulating its sale. In March of 2010, Idaho made things just a bit easier for producers of raw milk. A small-herd exemption was passed that allowed farmers with 7 or fewer goats or sheep and 3 or fewer cows to produce raw milk or raw milk products for human consumption. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/the-case-for-raw-milk-vs-cardboard-cow/ In this video, the folks at Bellevue Idaho's Cottonwood Ranch milk their small herd and explain why they think that pasteurization "spoils the taste" and "changes the contents into stuff that you may or may not be able to use." Or as 30-year-old Eric Barney explains, why "the bought milk" tastes like "cardboard cow".
Views: 55251 Kirsten Dirksen
Extreme transformer home in Hong Kong: Gary Chang's 24 rooms in 1
Gary Chang has lived in the same 32 square meters (344 square feet) for nearly his entire life. Nearly 40 years ago, he moved into the tiny apartment with not only his parents and 3 younger sisters, but they rented a room to a tenant. During his childhood the space was divided into several small rooms- kitchen, bathrooms and 3 bedrooms (Chang slept on the couch). In 1988 when his family moved out (into something bigger), Chang bought the place from the landlord for $45,000 and began his experiments in small space design. Today, at first glance, the small space appears a fairly average open studio, but with pulls on handles, walls slide across steel tracks, Chang can have a "maximum kitchen", a guest bedroom, a library, dining room, laundry-room and even a spa: one walls slides to reveal an extra-large Duravit bathtub. His home is tricked out with a wall-sized movie screen, a shower with color therapy and massage that doubles as a steam room, but Chang argues that the moving walls are fairly low-tech. And while he can control his appliances with his smartphone he usually prefers the manual option. Chang is now an architect (Edge Design) with a focus on micro-apartments. *Cameraman Johnny Sanphillippo also films for the site Strong Towns: http://www.strongtowns.org/ Gary Chang's Edge Design: http://www.edgedesign.com.hk Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/extreme-transformer-in-hong-kong-gary-changs-24-rooms-in-1/
Views: 1359231 Kirsten Dirksen
Brooklyn crafted, impermanent house gets wiser with owner
Tim Seggerman bought his Brooklyn home (Crown Heights) at an auction in 1987 for $140,000 (his down payment of $14,000 was his entire savings). It had been abandoned for 20 years and had holes in the roof, but Seggerman was trained as a builder and carpenter so he began working on it himself. Over the past couple of decades the home has grown with Seggerman's changing needs: a lofted bed became an indoor cabin for kids and when the nieces and nephews had grown, it became a lofted bed again; the bedroom was once divided to provide workspace for his ex-wife, but after the divorce the wall came down; and a once-open corner office became a shuttered workspace and is now- in preparation for Seggerman's retirement- is morphing into an open movie library. Seggerman is both architect and builder, as well as a master carpenter, and he's crafted all of the home's furniture, mostly out of scrap materials and local woods. He believes in taking his time to build and that a home is never finished. It's an idea embraced by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi: everything is impermanent, unfinished and imperfect. In Seggerman's home cables and pipes are uncovered and molding has been removed to leave the caulk line visible. More info in original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/brooklyn-crafted-impermanent-house-gets-wiser-with-owner/
Views: 292243 Kirsten Dirksen
You can't eat grass: an edible yard, 9 months later
Nine months after Patty Silva-Hicks tore out her front lawn to plant fruit trees and produce, she shows us how her garden grows. She's eating her yard (cherries, plums, avocado and chard), but it's also surprisingly attractive with touches like lettuce and pepper hedgerows. Original story from 2009: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/swapping-lawn-for-fruit-because-you-cant-eat-grass/
Views: 90118 Kirsten Dirksen
Passive solar glass home: feng shui in North Carolina
A passive solar dream house in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. "Until you live in a glass house I don't think you notice as much how the sun moves," explains homeowner Cliff Butler. "We see it move daily."
Views: 72860 Kirsten Dirksen
House as membrane: blends with garden & protects from street
When a Yokohama couple asked architect Takeshi Hosaka to design a home “in which we feel as if we are outdoors”, Hosaka took a triangular lot and used the geometry to trap a garden inside each room. All of Hosaka’s designs play with the idea of homes as separate from nature: his “Inside Out” leaves everything open for a couple and their 2 cats; and his own “Love House” dances with the indoor tree that dwarfs the tiny space. His “Garden House”, designed for a Tokyo advertising executive seeking a home as refuge, is more of a membrane than a home; it’s highly porous with the garden and nearly impermeable to the street. Other stories with Hosaka's work: - Yokohama narrow tiny house breathes, attracts local nature http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/yokohama-narrow-tiny-house-breaths-attracts-local-nature/ - Lolcat home Japan: old parking becomes loft for couple, cats http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/lolcat-home-japan-old-parking-becomes-loft-for-couple-cats/ Takeshi Hosaka: http://www.hosakatakeshi.com/index_en.html Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/house-as-membrane-blends-with-garden-protects-from-street/
Views: 122949 Kirsten Dirksen
How to choose a natural building material (i.e. cob or straw or a mix)
You may find cob cottages particularly cute, but taste isn't reason enough to choose one natural building material over another. Like more manufactured products, different earth materials all have different uses: straw bale is a great insulator, cob is a nice thermal sink as well as one of the easiest materials to sculpt if you're looking for lots of curves in your structure. Since different parts of the building need to do different tasks, even in the same building you might choose straw bale for one wall and cob for another. Natural building expert Michael G. Smith shows us some of the uses for straw bale, cob, slip straw and clay wattle (a variation on wattle and daub) in the homes and buildings of Boonville, California's Emerald Earth Sanctuary. Original content here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/natural-building-materials-straw-sticks-clay-or-a-mix/
Views: 187623 Kirsten Dirksen
Maison garage: old parking as tiny home in Bordeaux, France
Jérémie Buchholtz wanted an affordable apartment in Bordeaux (he's a photographer who splits his time between Paris and Bordeaux so his budget was limited), but he wasn't finding anything he liked. Then he stumbled upon a listing for a garage.  There was no house, it was just an abandoned garage for sale. And it looked like one. It had big metal doors that blocked out any sunlight and inside it was being used more as a junk room. So Buchholtz called his friend and architect Matthieu de Marien who specializes in converting stores, offices and other spaces into homes. De Marien took one look at the historic street and recognized it as something special. Passage Buhan is a private passageway where the owners each own half of the road so life extends into the street. And the history here is rich: a couple centuries ago, the laneway housed horses and their riders en route to the then city of Bordeaux and the old stable still sits on the street. Buchholtz bought the property and De Marien quickly cut into the old garage to create more light and ventilation. The roof is historic and couldn't be touched so he carved a 12 square meter (129 square foot) patio out of the small space, leaving only 41 square meters of living space (441 square feet). In order to make the space feel larger, De Marien created a "house within a house": one large piece of furniture that includes the bathroom, bedroom, office, closet, a sofa bed and all of the home's storage. With everything contained in this large furniture box, the rest of the home was given more breathing room. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/maison-garage-old-garage-as-tiny-home-in-bordeaux-france/
Views: 2814196 Kirsten Dirksen
Big Easy's shotgun: cross-ventilated narrow houses stay cool
Since the 1830s shotgun houses (AKA shotgun shacks, shotgun cottages, shotgun huts, “long houses”) have been popular in New Orleans. Usually no more than 12 feet wide, these “long houses” are long and skinny with rooms lined up in a straight line such that if you fired a shot through the front wall it could exit the back door without touching a wall. In 19th century New Orleans, shotgun cottages were a common home for century immigrant workers. They could be easily and cheaply constructed by inexperienced builders since their simple roofs don’t require gables. They are also ideal for hot climates; by opening the back and front doors, a breeze will flow through the home unobstructed. We visited Lillian and her 400-square-feet in the Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans (home to many 19th century Irish, Italian and German immigrants). She gives us a tour and talks about the possible West African origins of the architectural style (http://www.datacenterresearch.org/pre-katrina/tertiary/shotgun.html) and the different variations of shotgun home: “double-barrel” (two shotguns with a shared wall) and “camelback” (a shotgun with a second floor at the rear). Original video: big-easys-shotgun-cross-ventilated-narrow-houses-stay-cool
Views: 128437 Kirsten Dirksen
Simple life Manhattan: a 90-square-foot microstudio
By choosing a studio that measures just 12 feet by 7 feet, Felice Cohen can afford to live in Manhattan's Upper West Side where apartments rent for an average of $3,600 per month. She pays just over $700 for her 90-square-foot microstudio. After a bit of adjustment she now loves living smaller, simpler and cozier. Felice's book "90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 s.f.": http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Living-Large-Square-Feet-ebook/dp/B01CM3XU0E Felice's website: www.felicecohen.com Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/simple-life-manhattan-a-90-square-foot-microstudio/
Views: 21725334 Kirsten Dirksen
Backyard aquaponics: DIY system to farm fish with vegetables
Rob Torcellini bought a $700 greenhouse kit to grow more vegetables in his backyard. Then he added fish to get rid of a mosquito problem and before long he was a committed aquaponic gardener. Now his 10 by 12 foot greenhouse is filled with not only vegetables, but fish. And the best part is: the poo from that fish is what fertilizes his garden. Aquaponics combines fish farming (aquaculture) with the practice of raising plants in water (hydroponics). It's organic by definition: instead of using chemical fertilizers, plants are fertilized by the fish poo (and pesticides/herbicides can't be introduced to kill pests because they could harm the fish). Since the plants don't need dirt, aquaponics allows gardeners to produce more food in less space. And in addition to the vegetables they can grow, most aquaponics gardeners cultivate edible fish as well. In this video, Rob shows us the aquaponics greenhouse in his Connecticut backyard, that he built mostly from scavenged parts, as well as his DIY indoor system where he's growing lettuce under a grow light. Bigelow Brook Farm: www.bigelowbrook.com Original story on faircompanies: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/backyard-aquaponics-diy-system-to-raise-fish-with-veggies/
Views: 1907190 Kirsten Dirksen
Raw sauerkraut: a fermented, probiotic superfood
"Sauerkraut is almost a perfect food," explains Alexander Valley Gourmet's founder David Ehreth. "It has cabbage which is a good thing to eat [ranked as one of the 10 best foods you're not eating] and then fermented it is a particularly healthful food because it has a lot of probiotic and probiotic just means the bacteria that is normal in our bodies and that needs to be reinforced on a regular basis which is what sauerkraut does." In this video, Ehreth shows us his fresh, unpasteurized sauerkraut and talks about the trend toward more probiotic foods in the market. Video where we try to make fermented sauerkraut at home: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZruwvuTtdRI Video with fermentation guru Alex Hozven of The Cultured Pickle: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/the-coca-cola-fermented-foods-pickling-any-vegetable/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/raw-sauerkraut-a-fermented-probiotic-superfood/
Views: 72708 Kirsten Dirksen
Soil-less sky farming: rooftop hydroponics on NYC restaurant
Chef John Mooney believes so strongly in local food that for his latest restaurant in Manhattan's West Village, most of his produce travels just 60 feet from the building's roof to his kitchen. He's able to grow nearly two-thirds the vegetables for his restaurant- Bell, Book & Candle- because he doesn't rely on soil. Instead, Mooney and his partner Mick O'Sullivan installed 60 vertical tower hydroponic systems. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/soil-less-sky-farming-rooftop-hydroponics-on-nyc-restaurant/
Views: 267113 Kirsten Dirksen
A family bike: a bicycle built for 3 (plus 1)
Boise's (Idaho) Kristin Smith wanted her 3 kids (all 6 years and under) to bike with her so to keep them in line she bikes around town on a triple, or triplet, bicycle. With the "plus one"- a tag along bike- added to the back, they can go for days without hopping in a car. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/backyard-goats-for-fresh-organic-raw-milk-and-as-pets/
Views: 266037 Kirsten Dirksen
Off-grid urban home in Sydney reuses own sewage
Sustainable House Sydney produces power, water and even reuses its own sewage, right in the middle of Australia's biggest city. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/sydneys-sustainable-house-how-to-live-like-a-tree/
Views: 109695 Kirsten Dirksen
Couple's own Paris-Dakar using Land Rover transformer-camper
Brice grew up in Morocco overlanding across Africa in 4x4s and 6x6s. When he met his wife Irina they organized off-road trips across the “land of the pharaohs, and Lawrence of Arabia”, but soon realized that as a couple they wanted more overnight comfort so they turned their Land Rover into an quick-transforming micro camper. With the press of a button, the standard car pops up and out and in 43 seconds becomes a tiny home complete with kitchen, toilet and indoor shower. To take advantage of the limited size within a standard wheelbase, the couple placed a lot on tracks: the dining table/benches slide to make room for a shower stall (rainshower fixture included); the toilet slides out from within the stall. With the push of other buttons, the bed drops down from the ceiling on wires and the back rack drops down into an instant deck. To create a comfortable off-grid experience, the entire roof of the car is covered in solar panels which provide all of the campers’ electrical needs. The stove runs on the same diesel from the car’s tank to keep things simple and easy to access in remote regions. The couple named their car, and company, Wild Fennec after a nocturnal fox of the Saharan desert and they are selling their vulpine vehicle for 50,000 euros. Wild Fennec https://www.wild-fennec.com/ Original story: https://faircompanies.com/videos/couples-own-paris-dakar-using-land-rover-transformer-camper/
Views: 1076749 Kirsten Dirksen
The magic of urban beekeeping: a backyard San Francisco hive
Perhaps motivated by a drive to prop up the bee populations decimated by colony collapse disorder, beekeeping has become popular in cities worldwide. We visit one San Francisco beekeeper who keeps her hive in a Bernal Heights backyard where she escapes once a week to check on her colony. For Alexandra Danieli, beekeeping is part meditation and part fascination with a magical world of GPS, honing pheromones and group intelligence.
Views: 113335 Kirsten Dirksen
Earth-cooled, shipping container underground CA home for 30K
As a kid Steve Rees played in caves and learned how the earth could cool. As an adult, he buried two shipping containers and created an off-grid retirement home for himself and his wife Shirley. After a few years of camping on their 10 acre plot in Northern California, they bought two shipping containers, hired an excavator and got to work. Doing most of the work themselves, their finished home cost them $30,000 (solar included). Their 640-square-foot space cost them less than $50 per square foot. Rees explains that while this is less than conventional construction costs, the savings only begin with construction. With a solar-powered well, a bit of propane and solar tubes for most of their light, they haven’t had any city water or electric bills since 2002. Winter temperatures in their home (even during 20 degrees outside) never fall below 62 degrees (an RV catalytic heater is sufficient for heating). Even when the temperature rises to 110 outside in the summer, their home has never risen above 82 degrees. When they asked the county about permitting they were told they “didn’t have a permit for burying containers”. They have been inspected since completing their home and they have a permitted septic system and a permitted well, just no permit for a single family dwelling. Steve Rees book: “Off Grid and Underground" http://www.amazon.com/Off-Grid-Underground-Simpler-Live/dp/1493798510 Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/earth-cooled-shipping-container-underground-ca-home-for-30k/ Steve has agreed to field questions at [email protected]
Views: 1877054 Kirsten Dirksen
Artist builds his Savannah studio with shipping containers
Architect, artist, designer Julio Garcia had been designing plans for shipping container homes for a decade before he found the perfect place to build one: on a long, narrow stretch of his property in Savannah, Georgia. “I’m a big believer we should be adapting to the environment… I remember walking out and looking at the yard and thinking oh my god the land is calling for this linear design.” He picked up two 40 foot shipping containers from the Port of Savannah and, thanks to much advance planning, he was able to install them without removing one tree from his property. He offset the two boxes, cut out the interior container walls and added I-beams, a shed roof and clerestory windows in the center to provide plenty of daylighting. “There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re inside a container so in the design we had to address that. I’ve been in a couple of projects and they don’t function very well and you’re like, ‘Oh, I still feel like I’m in a metal box’.” Garcia believes containers can make for affordable homes: “you could put up a structure like this for about 50K”, but much of the interior was salvaged from other job sites (i.e. the drywall and the kitchen). His Price Street Projects creates plans that are “almost do-it-yourself plans” for shipping container homes and he has installed commercial container spaces, but he’s a big believer that the site should determine the design. http://pricestreetprojects.com/ Original story: https://faircompanies.com/videos/artist-builds-his-savannah-studio-with-shipping-containers
Views: 1538885 Kirsten Dirksen
Westfalia campervan as minimal nomadic home in Santa Barbara
Last year Sam Jacquette was paying over $1100 a month in rent and working a job he didn’t enjoy to pay the bills. For his New Year’s resolution he vowed to stop doing things he didn’t enjoy so he quit his job (and found a new one with Airstream restorers HofArc), gave up his apartment and moved into his Westfalia campervan full time. “The beauty of living in Santa Barbara out of your vehicle is that for 90 dollars a year you get a pass. It’s a waterfront pass, basically it’s my beach condo,” explains Jacquette. His 1985 VW Westfalia (“Westy”) comes loaded with a two-burner propane stove, on-board water and sink, a refrigerator (which he’s replacing with a 12V fridge), 2 beds and tons of storage (including a mini-closet). For bathroom and showers he uses the gym. At night Jacquette pulls into the driveway of some good family friends and pops the top of his portable home. He sometimes shares the space with his girlfriend (he has found storage space for her pilates gear). He hopes one day to upgrade to an Airstream, but for now he’s happy with minimal mobile home. Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/westfalia-campervan-as-minimal-nomadic-home-in-santa-barbara/
Views: 568819 Kirsten Dirksen
Country caravans as tiny, Bohemian shelters in rural France
Country caravans, or according to those at Roulotte de Campagne, "Bohemian-style caravans" are back in style. "There's a fresh craze for these quaint mobile homes," declare the designers.   Roulotte de Campagne has redesigned the circus caravan, country caravan or so-called gypsy caravan as a high-comfort way for city-dwellers to get away from it all and tap into their Bohemian spirit. "'Roulotte' gypsy caravans," they say, "epitomize freedom and the great outdoors". They can be rented in 80 locations across France for about 70 to 95 euros per night or bought for 33,900 euros (this includes help marketing them as a B&B). Caroline of Hôtel Chai de la Paleine added one to the grounds of her home/chateau/hotel in the medieval village of Puy-Notre-Dame (in the Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional park). She rents it by the night alongside her 3 Carré d'étoile cube shelters made by the same designers (who also created the tiny pod dwellings, Le Pod). Original story here: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/country-caravans-as-tiny-bohemian-shelters-in-rural-france/
Views: 97638 Kirsten Dirksen
Future soda? Micro-fermented, probiotic, water kefir brew
It's a 3000-year-old soda that is popular again. Water kefir is a natural ferment that was likely first discovered by shepherds who had led their animal to drink in high mountain springs in the Caucasus Mountains. "The newfangledness of it is really that we've lost our culture in America. This is only newfangled to people that don't have access or a lineage that they're bringing forward of live culture fermenting of food," explains Tom Boyd. Boyd, along with partners Jeffrey Edelheit and Deana Dennard, ferment their live beverages in what they call "the only kefir based microbrewery", a tiny shop in Sebastapol, California called the Kefiry. They use kefir grains (which aren't really grains, but bacteria and yeast that turn sugars into carbonation) to create their "enlivened" beverages that contain much less sugar than conventional sodas. Like sourdough starters, kefir grains need to be kept alive and can be shared with others, but no one has been able to create them in a laboratory. Kefir starters, or tibicos, have been used around the world for centuries and while no two strain of culture is the same, the names are different worldwide: "Tibicos is also known as tibi, water kefir grains, sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals and California bees, and in older literature as bébées, African bees, ale nuts, Australian bees, balm of Gilead, beer seeds, beer plant, bees, ginger bees, Japanese beer seeds and vinegar bees." (wikipedia) Water kefir, like other live cultured foods (from sourdough to sauerkraut), have a following of people interested in probiotics and cultivating a healthy flora in their digestive system, though Boyd argues all of us should be focused on cultivating wellness (instead of simply relying on the medical community). "All of these live culture techniques are ways to preserve and enhance the bio-availabilty of the nutrients in foods. So that's what this movement is about is bringing the live culture back so the foods can be more healthy, more wellness-providing like they're supposed to be." The Kefiry: http://thekefiry.com/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/future-soda-micro-fermented-probiotic-water-kefir-brew/
Views: 138717 Kirsten Dirksen
Lloyd Kahn on his NorCal self-reliant half-acre homestead
At 80 years old, Lloyd Kahn is an icon of alternative housing. In the seventies he was a poster child of the geodesic dome (he published Domebook One and Two and he and his dome home were featured in Life magazine). He got his start in publishing when Stewart Brand made him the shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. The book that put him on the map as a publisher was “Shelter”, an international survey of alternative housing that he continues to sell over 4 decades later. Kahn’s enthusiasm for shelter extends to “building every place I’ve ever lived”, including his current home which started as a dome and is now a more traditional shelter capped by a 30-foot-tall hexagonal tower (the only remnant of the dome). His home is only a small part of his half-acre homestead where he and his wife Lesley Creed believe in doing things for yourself, when possible. Besides tending the organic gardens (and dozens of free-range chickens), Creed is a natural dyer, quilter, sourdough bread-maker and believer in the “value of actually working, not just trying to figure out how not to work”. On our visit to the homestead, Kahn showed us his wild-caught pigeons, his seaweed harvest, well-fermented sauerkraut, home-cured olives, oatmeal grinder and workshop (where he still keeps his father’s “nuts and bolts box”). We caught Creed baking her sourdough bread (from her kitchen-harvested starter) and drying “bread seed” poppies. Years ago the couple were pushing the boundaries of self-sufficiency to include goats and harvests of wheat, but Kahn found his limits. “With self-sufficiency you never get there, you never become self-sufficient. I mean we tried back in the seventies. We had goats and chickens and bees and I was trying to raise grain. Pretty soon I realized that if I want to raise enough wheat for the bread for a year here, it’s better left to a specialist, like I can’t be my own dentist. So you do, it’s a direction self-sufficiency. You do what you can do as much of it as you can.” Shelter Publications: http://www.shelterpub.com/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/lloyd-kahn-on-his-norcal-self-reliant-half-acre-homestead/
Views: 752678 Kirsten Dirksen
Medieval Spanish ghost town becomes self-sufficient ecovillage
It's a utopian fantasy- discover a ghost town and rebuild it in line with your ideals-, but in Spain where there are nearly 3000 abandoned villages (most dating back to the Middle Ages), some big dreamers have spent the past 3 decades doing just that. There are now a few dozen "ecoaldeas" - ecovillages - in Spain, most build from the ashes of former Medieval towns. One of the first towns to be rediscovered was a tiny hamlet in the mountains of northern Navarra. Lakabe was rediscovered in 1980 by a group of people living nearby who had lost their goats and "when they found their goats, they found Lakabe", explains Mauge Cañada, one of the early pioneers in the repopulation of the town. The new inhabitants were all urbanites with no knowledge of country life so no one expected them to stay long. When they first began to rebuild, there was no road up to the town so horses were used to carry construction materials up the mountain. There was no electricity either so they lived with candles and oil lamps. In the early years, they generated income by selling some of their harvest and working odd jobs like using their newfound construction experience to rebuild roofs outside town. Later they rebuilt the village bakery and sold bread to the outside world. Their organic sourdough breads now sell so well that today they can get by without looking for work outside town, but it helps that they keep their costs at a minimum as a way of life. "There's an austerity that's part of the desire of people who come here," explains Mauge. "There's not a desire for consumption to consume. We try to live with what there is." Today, the town generates all its own energy with the windmill, solar panels and a water turbine. It also has a wait list of people who'd like to move in, but Mauge says the answer is not for people to join what they have created, but to try to emulate them somewhere else. "If you set your mind to it and there's a group of people who want to do it, physically they can do it, economically they can do it. What right now is more difficult is being willing to suffer hardship or difficulties or... these days people have a lot of trouble living in situations of shortage or what is seen as shortage but it isn't." Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/medieval-spanish-ghost-town-now-self-sufficient-ecovillage/
Views: 764814 Kirsten Dirksen
Self-reliance in LA: backyard farming + radical home economics
Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne have been farming their yard in Los Angeles for over a decade. In addition to a mini orchard and extensive veggie garden, they have all the instruments of an urban homestead: chickens, bees, rainwater capture, DIY greywater, solar fruit preserver, humanure toilet, rocket stove, adobe oven. But they don't like to talk about sustainability of self-sufficiency, instead they prefer the term self-reliance. "I don't like the goal of self-sufficiency, I think it's a fool's errand to chase that goal," explains Knutzen. "I think we live in communities, human beings are meant to live, and trade and work together. I think self-reliance is okay, in other words, knowing how to do things." Knutzen and Coyne share their tinkering, DIY and small scale urban agriculture experiments on their blog Root Simple and in their books "The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City" and "Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post Consumer World". They believe in the value of shop classes and old-school home economics (back when you learned how to make things, not shop for things). For the couple, their true goal with all of this self-reliance is freedom to live as they please. By growing their own and canning, pickling, preserving, freezing and baking their own breads and beans, they live frugally. They also only own one car (plus a cargo bike), one cellphone and no tv. "I think a lot of it has to do with our overdriving ambition to be free," explains Coyne, "makes being cheap fun, because it means you can be free". Root Simple: http://www.rootsimple.com/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/self-reliance-in-la-backyard-farming-radical-home-ec/ *Cameraman Johnny Sanphillippo also films for the site Strong Towns: http://www.strongtowns.org/
Views: 563750 Kirsten Dirksen
Art of living in a Dordogne tiny mud home with living roof
In a small forest in France's Dordogne, self-taught carpenter Menthé built his home with a living roof and mud walls, plus hand-carved wood from the surrounding forest shaped according to ideas from 16th century French architect Philibert de l'Orme. The result is a charming and very cozy home that fits perfectly into the woodland. For more on Menthé's community (and hand-crafted bathroom, jacuzzi tub, etc) watch "French carpenters craft whimsical off-grid tiny house hamlet": http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/french-carpenters-craft-whimsicalf-grid-tiny-house-hamlet/ Menthé's blog: http://menthedesbois.blogspot.fr/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/art-living-in-a-dordognes-tiny-mud-home-with-living-roof/
Views: 253064 Kirsten Dirksen
NYC "Swiss Army knife" apartment's walls open, fold & slide
Rosa and Robert Garneau's Chelsea apartment is small- just 550 square feet of usable space with a bedroom just 8 feet wide-, but they can both work from home, find privacy (even for meetings while the other is sleeping) and fit all their belongings (sports equipment and lots of office gear) thanks to walls that don't stand still. Nearly every "wall" in the Garneau's Transformer Loft opens to reveal cabinets, a bed or even a home office. And all of it was carefully designed for utility and precision. The hydraulics on their Murphy bed are so perfectly balanced that it opens and closes with fingertips. The 500-pound track-mounted sliding wall that both separates their office/kitchen from the bedroom relies on ball bearings so smooth it makes little noise when it moves, despite being heavy enough to act as a real wall. The main table in the kitchen area serves multiple purposes thanks to hydraulic legs that have been programmed with preset heights for meals, work (both sitting and standing work desk) and cooking (different for both 5-foot-4-inch Rosa and 6-foot-4-inch Robert). There is storage everywhere and most of it is well-hidden. In the bathroom, seamlessly tiled walls click open to reveal cabinets and towel rods open to reveal clothes hampers. The bedroom closet has pull-down rods that double the usable closet space. The hall closet has shoe shelves built into the door. Everything serves multiple functions- even the sliding door serves to conceal shelving when the bedroom is closed. "The analogy I love to use," explained Robert to Dwell Magazine, "is that our apartment is like a Swiss Army knife: a compact, well-designed, functional thing of beauty." Garneau's "Pivot apartment": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTNm6IH2QT4 More info on original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/nyc-swiss-army-knife-apartments-walls-open-fold-slide/ Design (including cabinets & furniture) by Studio Garneau: http://www.studiogarneau.com/
Views: 1236167 Kirsten Dirksen
DIY-crafted Seattle micro apartment: 8 spaces stacked in 182 sq ft
Ten years ago Steve Sauer was looking for a place to keep some stuff. When he found a subterranean storage unit in the basement of a century-old Seattle coop, he quickly realized it had potential as a living quarters. Drawing on his expertise as a designer of airplane interiors (at Boeing), he began to sketch a home that could fit within 182 square feet. "When I first started designing this thing, I was thinking bicycle messenger, 22 year old bicycle messenger with 8 pieces of clothing and almost nothing else just living in the city." Stacking functions Sauer's "pico dwelling" (pico is 1/trillionth) isn't about sacrifice. He's managed to fit about 8 different useful spaces into the micro apartment by stacking functions. A cafe area (complete with Eames chair) is stacked on top of a video lounge (with 37-inch TV). One floor up on the adjacent wall, a bed(room) is lofted above a walk-in closet/ office. The main floor space fits a transforming table (that folds down from a cable to seat 6) and a 3-foot-deep Japanese-style soaking tub hidden below the entryway. The kitchen backs onto a bathroom which serves as the platform for a guest bed(room). There's also storage for 2 bikes (a pull-up bar doubles as a bike holder) and steps that double as benches. More quality, less space "I drive a Smart car and I like pushing the limit to see what I can do with the smallest kind of thing in all ways. I guess being an engineer I like pushing efficiency kind of limits all over the place because it's just interesting to me." Sauer appreciates simplicity, but his main interest in small spaces is a desire for high quality and control over his environment. "Typically cost considerations are the driver for small spaces, but that wasn't at all my primary interest. I wanted higher quality than I could afford at normal size and so by compressing myself I could get high quality materials and also by building it all myself I saved that money as well." Maker built: DIY machining and IKEA hacks Sauer spent thousands of hours in materials research and settled on the exotic (i.e. German faucets and Brazilian Walnut flooring) to the mundane, using IKEA as a materials resource. His hacked IKEA projects include: cut-up shelves and tabletop serve as the frame for kitchen drawers; bed slats are both floor for the guest bed and a countertop has become floor to his cafe level; and in the kitchen, "Ikea hardwood shelving for drawer boxes, a table-top for drawer fronts, countertop planks for framing, and heavy duty drawer glides." Standing beneath a former-table-top-glass-turned-translucent-bathroom-ceiling (also the guest bed floor, covered by bed slats), Sauer explains, "This would cost a fortune if I ordered it custom and it's only a couple of hundred from IKEA with a whole table so IKEA really comes to the rescue with some of these things as materials supply." Nearly every piece of furniture or appliance reveals some mix of Sauer's DIY tinkering. The bathroom sink is a mix of "floor wood as a deck, Ikea shelf brackets, a glass vessel sink, and satin-finish pipery". Bathroom towel racks that were too expensive to purchase were replicated via "desperate acts of machining stainless steel" (an earlier iteration used boat-part stanchions). His soap/shampoo shelving was constructed from stainless steel kitchen containers fitted into a laser-cut panel. A bike shifter mechanism became part of a showerhead. 3form plastic products serve as both a cover for his soaking tub (1" Chroma) that is strong enough to double as a floor, and a semi-translucent wall between the bathroom and kitchen (1/4" Varia Ecoresin). Sauer doesn't have formal construction training, but he is a self-taught practitioner of all the residential construction trades, holds a master's degree in whole systems design, and has a little workshop that includes a lathe (an Atlas 6" metal lathe) from his father that was resurrected for extensive custom machining. A pico development? The final project shows off Sauer's dedication to quality and custom finishes and it was a labor of love. It took 7 years to complete and 2 years to get permitted. Today, Sauer has the permits and a certificate of occupancy for his tiny home and he would love to take what he's learned and create an entire building of high-end micro apartments. Steve Sauer- http://www.oixio.com/ More info on original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/diy-crafted-seattle-micro-apartment-8-spaces-in-182-sq-ft/
Views: 1849713 Kirsten Dirksen
"Mountain man" home from scrap material on Idaho farm
"Black Kettle" hasn't lived in a home since 1974 which might explain why he chose to build his own when he finally opted for a roof over his head. Short of the insulation just about everything is secondhand. Here he shows us his windows from a remodel job, the old fence posts he used for exterior walls, his outdoor bed and his backyard garden with corn and amaranth. Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/diy-be-house/
Views: 199334 Kirsten Dirksen
$150 bike camper: DIY micro mobile home (downloadable plans)
Paul Elkins fell for micro-camping in 2002 when he toured the country in his cabover “stealth camper”. Sure he could make something more affordable, this year he began building a nomadic micro-shelter based on the Airstream design. [Downloadable plans: http://www.elkinsdiy.com/plans/ ] Using 4 recycled fluted-plastic campaign signs from a recent election, a $20 secondhand bike, 6 pine boards ($1 at Home Depot), screws, Duct tape and zip ties, he built his latest micro mobile shelter for only $150. Calling it a “micro Airstream bike camper”, it’s a 60-pound “home away from home”, complete with butane stove, bread-pan sink, counter, food storage shelving, clothes-storage bins, LED lighting, bed, windows, pee jug, bubble insulation, stereo with MP3 player, and a skylight made out of a 1 gallon plastic tub. Our mini-doc with Paul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1tV-ovGPyc More of Paul's videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/paulwelkins Mini Airstream bike camper: http://www.elkinsdiy.com/mobile-shelters/micro-airstream-bike-camper/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/150-bike-camper-diy-micro-mobile-home-downloadable-plans/
Views: 10282601 Kirsten Dirksen
6 rooms into 1: morphing apartment packs 1100 sq ft into 420
In 2010, we met Graham Hill- the founder of treehugger.com and a serial entrepreneur. He had just bought two tiny apartments in a century-old tenement building in Soho and he had plans to turn them into laboratories, and showcases, for tiny living. He'd spent most of the past year living in tiny spaces- "a tiny trailer, a tent, and then a boat" and he was convinced others would love it as much if small spaces could be designed right. He wanted a tiny space that didn't sacrifice function, but instead that would expand to provide a wish list including dinner parties for 12, accommodations for 2 overnight guests, a home office and a home theater with digital projector. Not wanting to limit himself to local architects, he crowdsourced the design as a competition and received 300 entries from all over the world. Two Romanian architecture students won with their design "One Size Fits All". Completed in 2012, his LifeEdited apartment doesn't resemble the cramped space we saw in 2010. Today the 420-square-foot space can be expanded to include the functionality of 1,100 square feet: walls, drawers and beds move and unfold to create 6 rooms: living room, dining room, office, guest office, master bedroom and guest bedroom. If you include the kitchen and the bathroom which morphs into a phone booth or meditation room, the apartment includes 10 total rooms. More info on original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/6-rooms-into-1-morphing-apartment-packs-1100-sq-ft-into-420/ LifeEdited: http://www.lifeedited.com/
Views: 8717462 Kirsten Dirksen
DIY home for less than $3500
In a town where the median home price is over half a million dollars, Jenine Alexander decided to build her own. Using resources like the tiny house blogs and the 1950 bestselling DIY book "Your Dream Home: How to Build It for Less Than $3,500" (a gift from a friend), Jenine spent less than $3,500 on her home. In fact, she used nearly only materials recovered from the dump or found on craigslist and the only things she paid for were a used trailer and fasteners (nails, screws, hinges, etc). She built it on wheels not just to get around minimum size standards, but mostly because she couldn't afford land in her hometown of Healdsburg, California. More info in original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/diy-home-for-less-than-3500/ Jenine's blog: http://www.forgeahead.org/Productions/Home.html
Views: 2628630 Kirsten Dirksen
How to build a straw bale wall
Bales of straw may seem a bit simple, but they're very effective for building a home. They're also great insulation, offering R2 per inch thickness of the wall. Michael G. Smith shows us the straw bale wall they're building at Mendocino County's (California) Emerald Earth Sanctuary. Original content here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/how-to-build-a-straw-bale-wall/
Views: 190057 Kirsten Dirksen
A mudbrick home built with help from family and friends
Earth building- mudbrick, adobe, cob, PISE, rammed earth- is a great way to build in climate control into your home. It's also something that you can do yourself. Here one family in Melbourne, Australia talks about making their own mudbricks with a little help from their weekend football team. [Note: Graeme Ellis is a builder.] Original content here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/the-ultimate-earth-friendly-building-material-mud/
Views: 24921 Kirsten Dirksen
Micro-homesteading in WA with 10K microhome (84 sq ft) in friends' yard
Dee Williams used to live in a 2,000-square-foot, 3-bedroom home. Then she traveled to Guatelama (to help build a schoolhouse) and when she came home her house felt too big so built herself a home that fit. That turned out to be a 84-square-foot foot home on wheels that cost her $10,000: $5000 for the materials (mostly salvaged) and the other half for the solar panels and low-E (low thermals emissivity) windows. She spent 3 months building her new home in Portland, Oregon and then hitched it to her truck and parked it in the backyard of her good friends Hugh and Annie in Olympia, Washington. For the first 7 years she moved in and out (removing the back fence), but for the past two years her wheels haven't moved. Annie describes their setup, half-jokingly as a "compound", which also includes a sauna (built by Dee) and until a few months ago, included Hugh's Aunt Rita who lived in "the big house" and Dee helped care for (incidentally, Dee's home is permitted as a caregiver's cottage, though Aunt Rita died this spring so now she's only allowed to "recreate" in her tiny house). When she moved into her 7x12 foot home back in 2004, Dee got rid of not just a $1000/month mortgage, but most of her stuff. She admits it's not easy to keep things to a minimum- "creep happens"-, but it's a constant process. "I was engaged to be married and I kept the wedding announcement for decades and finally I was like I know that happened I think I can let it go in writing. After awhile it's okay to let some of that stuff go and to trust that there are things that you hold inside you that are actually a lot more meaningful.. than the photo or piece of paper." Today, Dee helps design and build tiny homes for her company PAD (Portland Alternative Dwellings) where they "encourage people to design things that fit their bodies": instead of obsessing over square footage (their designs run from 70 to 136 square feet), "all of a sudden you can let your body be the tape measure". Portland Alternative Dwellings: http://padtinyhouses.com/ Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/micro-homesteading-in-wa-with-10k-microhome-in-friends-yard/
Views: 2759470 Kirsten Dirksen
Before: 19th Century $1-building; Now: luxury house/pizzeria
In 1850, Cincinnati was the second densest city in the country, but in the last century as residents began their flight to the suburbs neighborhoods lost population and in some spots buildings were abandoned. Walnut Hills was once considered Cincinnati’s second downtown, but in the last century the area fell on hard times. When the historic firehouse burnt down in 1977, it was left to crumble for over 3 decades. A couple years ago developer Kent Hardman bought the building from the city for $1. Hardman spent heavily to bring the building back to life- it’s now his loft apartment upstairs and a pizzeria downstairs- and he says he’ll only “break even” with his investment, but he’s more interested in helping turn the entire neighborhood around. He invested in the building next door and vacant buildings across the street and hopes that traffic to the pizza parlor will bring some life back to these blocks. Johnny Sanphillippo of http://granolashotgun.com filmed this story. On his blog, he writes about shoestring pre-vitalization: "a new generation is now beginning to rediscover neighborhoods like Walnut Hills and the city of Cincinnati understands that market demand is aligned with the existing building stock and historic urban fabric. " Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/before-19th-century-1-building-now-luxury-housepizzeria/
Views: 1341748 Kirsten Dirksen