Architecture Makes a Change

Words and books can hardly change a single person. To change the world, co-create places where new lifestyles can be experienced firsthand.

The relevance of good buildings and environments cannot be over-estimated in my eyes. Why is architecture so important?

  • The structures we live in are shaping our daily life. Lifestyles make buildings and buildings make lifestyles.
  • The building industry is the biggest of all - having the highest turnover and a huge environmental impact.
  • The cost of building and housing is the biggest expense factor and financial challenge for people and families all around the world.
  • The potential to manifest change in the world trough intelligent ways of building is amazing.

Having open pluralistic cultures in mind, we can retrieve building guidelines from that. What makes good architecture good?

  • Orientation on environmental conditions like sun, wind, weather and seasons.
  • Flexibility in utilization. All kinds of people over many generations may like the buildings.
  • Healthy materials for healthy living and a sustainable life cycle of the buildings. 
  • Combination of low cost and high quality. Affordable natural luxury.
  • Simplicity: Regional materials and manual labor to minimize cost and maximize regional benefits.
  • Minimizing of maintenance costs, running costs and service costs. Above all, energy efficiency

A house that is not oriented to the sun can not be a good house. In cold climates, we want cooling in the summer and warming in the winter. In tropical climates, we always want shade and coolness. All good houses have an intelligent water managenent and their structures keep dry and breathable.  Well done buildings can resist earthquakes and storms and have a huge lifespan of over a hundred years.

Impossible? Just a dream? Well, see examples that prove the concept. There exist hundreds of millions of terrible houses, so many that we cannot believe humanity could do so wrong. But there also exist ten thousands of best practice examples, showing us what high quality of life can mean and how cheap we can attain it.

Build good and life is good. Neighbors and guests will be inspired and you make a real change. Maybe you can even build without a loan, thanks to all what nature and simplicity offer. 

Low cost and high quality are wonderful siblings! Get inspired!


Solar Power Runs the Planet

It's kind of funny that we still search for energy solutions. Even within circles of change-makers, we hear discussions about the most promising technology. Even alternative people sometimes believe we would need nuclear power or natural gas or such.

Isn't it obvious that all energy comes from the sun? Wind is created by thermal air layers. All water flows because the sun was evaporating it before. All wood and all biomass is growing thanks to our great star. Without exception, all energy on Earth comes from the sun!

Using only one percent of the desert areas for solar energy harvesting would provide the planet thousand times more energy than needed at the moment. And we need a lot. This knowledge is not new but also not popular for reasons we can imagine.

Probably the most beautiful thing about solar technology is that everyone can use it right away. No need to wait for magical inventions and no need to depend on big industries. You can start using the sun today. Some examples of solar technology for small scale use:

  • Solar dehydrator
  • Solar oven
  • Scheffler mirror
  • Solar cooker
  • Solar water heating
  • And many more...

You find astonishing examples of solar applications. It is the most direct and clean way to harvest energy per definition. Years ago, I had a heavy inspiration:

Either we are friend with the sun or she turns into our greatest enemy.

Let's better use her incredible potential. For free!

The sunlight takes over 8 minutes of space travel until reaching Earth. Only a minimal fragment of all the light the sun shines into all directions makes the way to our planet. And this small fragment is still ten thousand times more than all energy needs of humanity. Any more questions?!

Have a sunny future!

Let's Dance with Nature

The sun runs the planet. The result is soil. Great healthy, fertile topsoil. Hopefully! People who are understanding nature as a vibrant dance of energies know what good soil means. Imagine all the topsoil on the planet, all the micro life, the fungi, the bacteria, all the power of life!

Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree.

Rabindranath Tagore

Now also imagine how much topsoil was poisoned and devastated in the last decades and centuries. Even conservative statistics show dramatic percentages. The main reason again: Destructive industrial land use at global scale.  

A rough calculation of current rates of soil degradation suggests we have about 60 years of topsoil left. Some 40% of soil used for agriculture around the world is classed as either degraded or seriously degraded – the latter means that 70% of the topsoil, the layer allowing plants to grow, is gone.

TIME 2012, What If the World’s Soil Runs Out?

What a luck that permaculture was invented. Invented?!

Permaculture is a new word for an old wisdom of how to collaborate with nature. Before civlisations made survival possible by supermarkets, everyone did care about collaborating with nature. Either nature was growing food or no food was on the plate. Now machinery and chemistry is ruling nature, obviously with little success.

Typical chapters of permaculture are formulated, some of them are famous and no chapter of life is excluded. Permaculture tries to integrate human life into the natural flow. Permaculture is not square and not linear, it's not trivial and not complicated. It's like nature, a never ending story about all aspects of life.

Thousands of farmers successfully apply principles and patterns from the incredible collection within permaculture. It's not just agriculture. It is a universe of practical information.