The first entry under the ‘Supercool’ section of this blog is, indeed, supercool. It’s a video of Lloyd Kahn using his friend’s zipline. In this case, the zipline serves a function beyond providing fun and thrills- it is his friend’s method of traversing the river to get to and from home. At the same time, this zipline provides plenty of fodder for the imagination and your sense of adventure and mystery- just check out the passage through the trees! Watching this video instantly set me to dreaming.
I came across Lloyd’s seminal work “Shelter” after first discovering natural building through the book “The Hand Sculpted House: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage”, an excellent tome on cob building and living in general which had completely and irreversibly blown my mind. “Shelter” then caused my ideas about creating a home to undergo another sort of transformation. Dreams turned into reality feature prominently in Lloyd’s books, and I saw the seemingly infinite ways in which a home may be manifested. He shows example after example of people turning using their desire and will to make their visions real, each doing it differently but with their own hands. There’s enough inspiration in this book to last several lifetimes, being as it is a collection of ingenious and in-tune ways to shelter oneself on the planet. There are buildings from traditions around the world, many of which are still in use today or could be used. There’s earth building, tipis, timber framing, log cabins, reed houses, mobile shelter, and much, much more. Even conventional building methods like stick framing are included. The emphasis is on owner-built homes of all shapes and sizes, which makes you realize that you can build your own home, too. I can’t recommend this work highly enough. “Homework” and “Builders of the Pacific Coast” are sequels to Shelter and are equally valuable and fascinating in their own right. I own all three books and they are a treasured part of my book collection. The books affect our sense of what’s possible, and even if we will never build some of the more jaw-dropping houses, there are plenty of ideas that could surely lead to being able to come up with a design that’s right for the individual. For me, his books are far more exciting than any of the grand industrial architectural “marvels” that we tend to see. Each house in any of Lloyd’s books is a gem, and has that spark of divine light in it.
Since Lloyd Kahn is a cool guy, we’ll also feature this video on his thoughts of home, centered around his actual home. For those hearing about Lloyd and his work for the first time, get ready to get in touch with a part of yourself you may have forgotten. His books offer very valuable stuff for knowing what it is to be human and to live on the earth.