Ever wish you could get a haircut and a flat tire fixed without using money but suspected the barber and the mechanic wouldn't be interested in your sleeping bag or your web design services? A gift circle gives everyone equal opportunity to express their needs (and hopefully get them met) and offer their gifts in a way that doesn't require direct exchange but allows all ... READ MORE
by Jan Camp, author of Into the Circle: Hula Hooping in California and Beyond
Hoopdance, or simply hooping, embodies the spirit of serious fun by contributing to individual and universal wellness through play. It is an affordable, low impact aerobic exercise that is available to everyone. At farmers markets across the country, hoopers give demonstrations and sell hoops. The aim, for both the farmers and the ... READ MORE
In Berkeley, California a newly formed grassroots group, Transition Berkeley, held the city's first Crop Swap.
A few dozen local residents happily exchanged home-grown goodies that thrive in this micro-climate in July: lemons and rhubarb, parsley and eggs. The freshly harvested produce was set out on two folding tables and a couple of blankets, and people filled their baskets and bags with greens and ... READ MORE
Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World
by Ross Chapin, architect
Pocket neighborhoods are clustered groups of neighboring houses or apartments gathered around some sort of shared open space ó a garden courtyard, a pedestrian street, a series of joined backyards, or a reclaimed alley ó all of which have a clear sense of territory and shared stewardship. They can be in urban, suburban or rural areas.
These are settings ... READ MORE
Built to explore the feasibility of alternative construction as dense urban infill, this passive solar cottage has foot thick earth walls, radiant heat, daylighting, recycled fixtures, salvaged beetle kill cabinet wood, custom gutter downspout sconces, concrete countertops, concrete floors, and the industrial/residential artists live/work spare aesthetic. It has been much beloved by those lucky enough to live in this sanctuary! ... READ MORE
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. Christian says its design was inspired by the space-saving furniture aboard boats, as well as the clean lines of a small Japanese home.
These small homes range from 65-140 square feet. Because they are on wheels, they are considered travel trailers, and do not require a building permit. You can pretty much put one anywhere you can place an RV. Plans and how to workshops can be found at their website.
HyBrid coined the term cargotecture in 2004 to describe any structure built partially or entirely from recycled cargo containers. They provide complete cargo container homes starting at $59,000--elegant and minimalist. Read more here.