Duck Duck Book

14 – home work
03.8.2005, 12:01 am
Filed under: technology

Home work : handbuilt shelter / Lloyd Kahn.
Bolinas, Calif. : [Berkeley, Calif.?] : Shelter Publications ; Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Publishers Group West, c2004.
[MCL call number: 690.837 K12h 2004; six copies, one hold]

Here is another in the list of books that facilitate my fascination with buildings. This is a way-hippified collection of illustrations of handmade houses, interviews with house-building people, and musings on the construction of one’s own shelter. There is lots of groovy in these pages, so those of you who, perhaps, spent a number of your formative years surrounded by a morass of chakra charts, casual nudity, solstice rituals, whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, and Rainbow Gatherings should beware. However, I will tell you that the people profiled in this book do not believe that you should wash your hands with dirt. The hippie-est among them have built sturdy, beautiful, and, yes, sanitary domiciles for themselves. And many of the builders could not be called hippies at all. It’s true.

Leafing through the pages of Home Work, you’ll find mostly photographs, with little bits of explanatory text between. The book’s arrangement is a bit haphazard, but not in a way that interferes much with absorbing the information. There are a lot of profiles of home builders, a section that focuses on different natural materials, one of photographs taken by people (other than Kahn himself) who are interested in hand built houses, a section on houses that are in vehicles and another on temporary or traveling structures, one on barns, and one on old buildings from various parts of the world. There is a very nice illustrated bibliography in the back of the book, and, sadly, no index.

[thanks, Bob]


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