The Infinite Marketability
of the human estate
insists that we all have a price.
We all have value.
Some of us are not for sale.
ARTIZENS BANK…small change matters
(a letter to a friend who works in city planning; following on an exchange about the practicality of building small affordable houses in an upscale neighborhood, an effort which the city supports in theory but apparently sabotages in practice)
Appearance vs. Reality
Last year I became interested in the Rural Studio, after taking in Andrew Freear’s presentation at the UofA. In particular, the $20k House appealed to me. As I looked further, it turned out that the initial idea was “what if we could build a house for $20,000?” allowing $10k for materials and $10k for labor. As it turned out that materials were going to cost out at $12k, they simply adjusted the labor factor down to $8,000. Wow! Brilliant, eh?
Add to that, the initial designs were in the 500-600 sq. ft. range, materials were donated, and labor was provided by the student/architect/designers. So far as I can determine, the $20k House has never been actually built in real-world conditions; i.e. materials purchased at market cost, contracted labor paid fairly, insurance overhead profit etc.
Over time, the $20k House has grown to nearer 1000 sq. ft. as the reality of housing a family was encountered. Still, Auburn insists on calling it a $20k House, and will be offering plans for sale. Appearance does not reconcile with Reality…
Cottage Housing appears to be a wonderful idea. Is it as unrealistic as the $20k House?(that’s all from their website, btw)
Last weekend, I met Jim Crow. Jim has taught classes for the American College of Building Arts in Charleston, and shared some of his experiences and perspective on the school with me. Unaccredited, mismanaged by social position taking precedence over competence, more impressed by academic credentials than practical abilities, the school is steadily sabotaging its mission and students.
There is no real standard for comparison.
I’m sitting here watching images from my carport raising, knowing (as you know as well) that there are very few people capable of executing a piece of work of that scale and complexity. You have barely skimmed the surface, and have no realistic idea how to apply what you do know. I have studied drawn modeled built numerous structures larger and more complicated than that carport. How then shall I subject my authentic imagination and skills acquired over a lifetime to a bureaucracy with merely borrowed ideas about building? The truth is that I can’t.
What I am going to do is provide an avenue for a few people to learn some of those skills; however much the City of Fayetteville chooses to acknowledge or support this effort; whether you choose to participate or obstruct; I have no real expectation of success; our society has neglected to train and reward artisans for far too long; that damage is beyond my ability to repair.
“everything that has form is tool, everything that is without form is Tao” ⛩