Living Architecture in Sydney

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by Sheltermaker, May 31, 2011.

  1. Sheltermaker

    Sheltermaker Junior Member

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    LIVING ARCHITECTURE in SYDNEY...

    By Peter Cowman, director of the Living Architecture Centre

    I will be in Sydney in August, available to deliver illustrated Talks & Workshops from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th 2011.

    Living Architecture is all about exploring the invisible parts of our houses and the invisible parts of ourselves with a view to creating low-cost, low-impact eco-buildings suited to our lives and to the life of the planet.
    This fascinating experience allows us to discover 'the architect inside’.
    This is essentially an uncovering of the ancient sheltermaking wisdom which survives in our genes.
    Because we have forgotten how to shelter ourselves we are now prey to an economy intent on taking full advantage of this vulnerability.
    Taking back control of our shelter allows us to take back control of our lives.

    If you are involved with a Transition Towns, Sustainability or Permaculture group this will be of interest because it offers fresh insight into the role of architecture and property in market economies and, most importantly, in our individual day-to-day lives.

    I am a member of Transition Towns Ireland+Northern Ireland and Transition Towns - Castlemaine.

    Here are some Talks & Workshop options I can offer, all of which can be configured to suit your particular needs:

    EconoSpaceMaking
    - designing and building a mortgage-free sustainable shelter with no permit required
    Living Your Architecture - shaping your home to suit your life and the life of the planet
    Invisible Architecture - getting in touch with the unseen dimensions of buildings (and, consequently, of life)
    Dream Home - how to bring to life the house inside you
    Architecture Playhouse - integrating our need for food, water and shelter
    Spirit House - making space for one's inner world
    Architecture & The Meaning of Life - exploring the dynamics linking architecture and life
    Architecture & Identity – discovering who we are through the medium of architecture

    The Talks can be supported with pictures+video (I have a projector) while the Workshops combine theory as well as 'hands-on' involvement. Lots of fun and inspiration!

    My background is in low-impact, low-cost sheltermaking, delivering Talks+Workshops as well as producing written and video materials on the subject (mainly in Ireland).
    I have been a regular visitor to Australia since 2007, successfully delivering Courses, Workshops and Consultancy services here since that time.
    I am now resident in central Victoria, currently developing new food+shelter initiatives with my partner Alanna Moore.
    I have also delivered LIVE Courses in UK, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan as well as supplying internet-based Courses across the globe.
    The Living Architecture concept has been widely promoted on TV, radio and in print media, including Owner Builder, Permaculture UK, Local Planet & Sustainability magazines.
    I have been a regular teacher at Ireland's prestigious Organic Centre since 2003 as well as delivering Courses to university and permaculture students.

    Here is an article on Permaculture & Sheltermaking - Inside Zone 0

    I am interested in establishing a relationship with a group, or groups, operating in the Sydney area with a view to developing a programme to be delivered during my August visit.
    For example - giving an evening talk (by donation) to be followed by a 1-day workshop tailored to your particular needs.
    You would need to organise a venue and do promotion (I can supply a poster, etc.).
    I can handle bookings, enquiries, etc.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Log onto the Living Architecture Centre website for more info, pictures, downloads, video, etc.

    Best wishes,

    Peter
     
  2. Lumbuck Thornton

    Lumbuck Thornton Junior Member

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    Peter,

    I really enjoyed you website and also resorted to writing theatre for a bit of humour and education

    https://forums.permaculture.org.au/...cons-of-Urine-in-the-garden&p=74364#post74364

    An there is another thread I started about trying to write a permaculture romance - got a few chapters in the thread. I have a few more then still have to write the rest.

    There are other threads I have created about trying to come up with the smallest, cheapest and practical shelter and that is how I came to the conclusion having part of the shelter being able to move through a specially designed garden might be the optimum arrangement.

    I am in North East Victoria so might catch up some time. Good luck in Sydney.
     
  3. Sheltermaker

    Sheltermaker Junior Member

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    Toilet Humour

    I haven't had such a good laugh in ages Lumbuck!
    Thanks for that.
    I reckon you're on the right track - thetare is where it's at.
    Check out my partner Alanna's Pee Fairy

    Peter
     
  4. Lumbuck Thornton

    Lumbuck Thornton Junior Member

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    Hi Peter,

    Which thread were you having a laugh at? Was it the unfinished romance or the 10 minute play or one of the other threads?

    With the econospace clay straw construction - how close would you put the south wall to a 1800mm high color bond fence? The weather comes from a south west direction predominantly so it could help provide good shelter for the lower part of the wall. Does this type of wall need space around it for ventilation? I am thinking about having it about a metre from the fence but might increase it a bit to make room for chooks or bike storage. Still in very early planning stages!

    Loved the P-Fairy. I have been working on design for a mobile public toilet on a converted ute using swing out camping showers for collection of urine which will become increasingly important as the world starts running out of fertiliser. Laughter is the best medicine.

    Cheers Lumbuck
     
  5. Sheltermaker

    Sheltermaker Junior Member

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    I was referring to 'Inconvenient Convenience'.
    As I said, I think this type of approach is vital to the communication process we are currently involved in.
    There is too much heavy-handed dooms-daying around in the 'conventional' approach.
    As for the clay-straw wall ... I would keep the wall, 120 -150cm from the boundary and, as you rightly suggest, use the space intelligently for storage, etc.
    A clay plastered clay-straw wall can take the weather pretty good as the clay seals itself, once it gets wet, preventing moisture penetrating into the wall proper.
    Such a wall is breathable, so no particular precautions needed re ventilation.
    Keep me posted on your mobile public toilet project!
    Hopefully we can meet while I am in Sydney ...
     
  6. Lumbuck Thornton

    Lumbuck Thornton Junior Member

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    Hi Peter,

    Glad you enjoyed the "Inconvenient Convenience" - I'm not really sure what to do with it. I wrote it after the sanitised "Inconvenient Truth" came out and the climate change as an idea about what could be done on the ground and to challenge peoples thinking. The idea of a rebel group dealing with climate change without telling the rest of society and then springing on them at some point seems to be a theme of mine. This is also the platform for my permaculture romance where the rebel takes up the challenge to the mainstream conservatives head on that end up giving into her charms and falling in love and taking up her cause. I tried to include a few laughs in this too.

    https://forums.permaculture.org.au/...ng-a-Permaculture-Romance-!&highlight=lumbuck

    You are right about the overwhelming and depressing dooms day approach not exactly being a good selling point. Far better to use some believable characters, a funny situation and some laughs to make a few serious points and educate people before they even realise it. I only have a few more chapters to release and then I am down to just chapter notes but maybe there are others out there that might be interested in helping drive it further. Most media on permaculture is about hard facts and to the wider community they see it as hard work. I think with the right framework and modifying things the already understand like cars then maybe we could make something interesting and believable.

    Thankyou for the pointers on the setbacks from the fence.
    I am over in North Eastern Victoria so will not see you in Sydney but I will mock up a proposed econospace coupled with some of my moving room and other ideas some time. The experience might help me finish the permaculture romance story as well. I got as far as suspending the happy couple on sort of adjustable hammocks made out of lots of seatbelts strung across inside the passive solar renovated car in the garden. This lends itself to a movie more than theatre which seems to be the base line global communication medium these days - and it will be great not to have a car chase! Might also be able to get some sponsorship with the right product placement - also seemingly essential in movies these days. Some green technologies and approaches need all the help they can get though to be accepted more into the mainstream. Enjoying your feedback. Hope Sydney goes well.
     
  7. Sheltermaker

    Sheltermaker Junior Member

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    Hi Lumbuck
    Educate them before they realise it - I like that!
    Yes, its hard right now to get through to people - it makes me wonder sometimes. Then I think, 'hmmm they really don't want to change'
    From that perspective the world looks different both as a person and as a teacher.
    So, I'm changing approach both to how I live and how I teach with interesting results.
    You sound like you're in a similar place ... trying to keep the mainstream at bay!
     
  8. Lumbuck Thornton

    Lumbuck Thornton Junior Member

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    Hi Peter,

    Part of it is over supply of negative, unreliable and disjointed information.
    I find that when people are given some positive, well presented and integrated information they seem to make the right decisions for themselves and the planet.
    It is an uphill battle though and most people, particularly teenagers, have the shutters up.
    I use permaculture principles in the office environment where there are complex legal, technical and financial issues being discussed. It is not permaculture to grow plants - it is about growing "ideas", putting seeds in people's heads in integrated positive ways. I get to see the worst aspects of some governments, corporations and communities andsome of it is orchestrated but a lot of it is because the decision makers at every level are too stupid and jammed up with junk. They resort to instincts that shut down systems.
    Fighting for Permaculture at high and multiple levels is heavy going and you feel like a sitting duck sometimes but what else is there to do! Certainly you have to look after your health and mind and not letting the mainstream get too invasive and burdensome. That is partly where my idea for an ultra-low cost passive solar retreat-shelter out in my garden to try out some ideas.

    So many people are critical of the green movement because good green technology is often so much more expensive, less reliable and harder work. We need to start cracking some of these problems, get people to feel the experience of passive solar first hand at public events using a portable structure/shelter that teaches them about climate change on the inside and outside of buildings. It is important they use this good to their benefit and then it becomes self replicating. I think we need to come up with a new type of "Retreat" in order to "Advance" and I see your econospace as being a really important part of it. We need to work out how best use the spaces and parts of the econospace - levels, plumbing, comfort, air, light, sound - the important aspects of "inside permaculture" that does not seem to get much expression yet. Maybe "earthships" are the closest but I reckon we can do even better.
     
  9. Sheltermaker

    Sheltermaker Junior Member

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    Experiencing Sustainability

    Hi Lumbuck

    I have been travelling and so have not had much time to reply to your last piece.
    I am in FNQ where some of the issues you raised are 'live' topics, on the ground, as it were.
    People seem poised on the brink unable to commit to change.
    Exiting the comfort zone is hard for people because they conjure up the horrors which they imagine await them.
    These, of course, then become self-fulfilling prophesies!
    My Irish EconoSpace became a real 'experiental' place, attracting peeople from far and wide who just wanted to sit and 'be'.
    However then they just went home muttering how it was 'okay for me to live like that', producing excuse after excuse as to why they could not do the same thing.
    Curious.
    The mini-EconoSpace in Victoria (almost complete) is the same.
    Lots of 'oohs' and 'aahas' but no positive action!
    The problem, I think, is metaphysical rather than physical.
    It is the heart rather than the head which needs to be awakened.
    This is so scary for people - like the basement to which years of rubbish has been consigned!
    I'm now developing a theatrical format for my workshops to home in on peoples pysches and poke around a bit!
    I'll have to be nimble on my feet for that!
     
  10. Lumbuck Thornton

    Lumbuck Thornton Junior Member

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    Hi Peter,

    Good luck with the new theatre production. I am sure it will come into its own when people realise how sick the crap they are watching on TV is making them.
    Lots of people see their building as a status and image factor and kids are particularly sensitive to this. There will be a tipping point at some time though when they realise there has to be better ways of doing things and living.

    Maybe your econospace would seem like luxury if you had them inside one of my Garden Appreciation Platforms first!

    I want to use your econospace to garage the GAP at night, when it is raining or there is a storm. I have been working out how to lay out the internals and think that a series of
    mezzanine rooms that step up and spiral up through the building might be the go. The location and elevation of the room is determined by the plumbing and onsite processing system outside. First step up from the garage is kitchen, then up to bathroom and toilet, then up to bedroom. I am wondering about use of a watertank taking up some of the internal space as a heat sink to stabilise temperatures.

    If I want space I go out in the garden and look forward to making it more comfortable. If I am back inside then space is less important. Ventilation is still important though and even a small place might be healthier if properly designed.

    On another post I came up with the idea of temperature racing - where the challenge is to take a GAP up and down through a range of temperatures by just moving in and out of the shade and using passive solar techniques. This might get people thinking and developing the mind set needed to think a bit more about their shelter!
     
  11. Sheltermaker

    Sheltermaker Junior Member

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    Closing the GAP

    Sounds good Lumbuck.
    Keep me posted on developments.
     

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