Beginning the research phase of my zero-footprint house design means idea-finding. There is a broad range of materials used in the construction of an “Earthship” (which is what the Tazo, New Mexico people call them,) and sustainability is not my only concern. As graphic designer I am a believer in the principle of aesthetics selling a concept. Good ideas often go unnoticed without good design. It seems that many of the Earthships built so far look like a more rudimentary styling of Bag-End from Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” The appeal of this rounded, cave-like look may be limiting their audience. Being a lover of art nouveau, I understand the appeal of natural curves. Yet, from a modern standpoint I question some of the practicality of curvilinear everything.
Why can’t sustainable mean also modern, clean, bold homes with a handmade touch? Take Richard Olson for example. His book “Handmade Houses” documents the wide array of what craftsmanship can mean.