mardi 6 janvier 2009

# SELF-CONSTRUCTION /// "Shelter" edited By Lloyd Kahn

After Rudofski's "architecture without architects", If there one book about self-construction, for sure it's Shelter! Its a collection of buildings technics, uses and tricks from all over the world. More over it's a best seller, First published in 1973, it already have been published 3 or 4 times! for me that book is the manisfesto of self-construction and it's a reference for anyone that try one day to build a small shelter, treehouse or whatever : It's a must have in your own library!
In times past people built their own homes, grew their own food, made their own clothes. Knowledge of the building crafts and other skills of providing life's basic needs were generally passed along from father to son, mother to daughter, master to apprentice.

Then with industrialization and the population shift from country to cities, this knowledge was put aside and much of it has now been lost. We have seen an era of unprecedented prosperity in America based upon huge amounts of foreign and domestic resources and fueled by finite reserves of stored energy.

And as we have come to realize in recent years, we are running out. Materials are scarce, fuel is in short supply, and prices are escalating. To survive, one is going to have to be either rich or resourceful. Either more dependent upon, or freer from centralized production and controls. The choices arc not clear-cut, for these are complex times. But it is obvious that the more we can do for ourselves, the greater will our individual freedom and independence be.

This book is not about going off to live in a cave and growing all one's own food. It is not based on the idea that everyone can find an acre in the country, or upon a sentimental attachment to the past. It is rather about finding a new and necessary balance in our lives between what can he done by hand and what still must be done by machine.

For in times to come, we will have to find a responsive and sensitive balance between the still-usable skills and wisdom of the past and the sustainable products and inventions of the 20th century.

Of necessity or by choice, there may be a revival of handwork in America. We are certainly capable, and these inherent, dormant talents may prove to be some of our most valuable resources in the future.

This book is about simple homes, natural materials, and human resourcefulness. It is about discovery, hard work, the joys of self-sufficiency, and freedom. It is about shelter, which is more than a root overhead.

– Lloyd Kahn, 1973

the blog of Lloyd KAHN : here

by the same guys you got "home made", "the Dome book" and other 70's goodies! : here

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