Monday, January 30, 2012

unusual homes and how to make them

I read National Geographic World ( magazine for pre-teens) as a child and I clearly remember a home built of tires and pounded earth.  The finished home didn't look like tires as it had some coating and inside cladding but it did look great -the walls were very organic and nothing was straight.

The Ekinoid Project homes look very different but also are similar in that they look quite different from normal homes as well.

Other homes:
Rammed Earth and tires/ cansHexayurt, and my favorite, the plastic bottle floating island.

When well-done, they look great and are certainly eye-catching.  I don't think they can live up to their hype though.  The Ekinoid home is built as a sphere for better insulation by volume, but I don't buy it because so much space is wasted in a sphere. Few people want to walk on the sloping sides of even the bottom eighth, nor can they use, except as a crawl-space attic, the edges on top.  The project calls for the home to be 'off the grid' but again, I don't know how easy that is to do.  I do like them, though.

To my mind, environmentally friendly housing needs to be multi-family housing.  Perhaps a standard box with four families each using a corner and two outside walls but having an open space interior.  The unconventional aspect would be the uses the open space would be for.  Each family would have privacy in their nearly dorm-style apartment, but share a common cooking and recreation area.  The savings would come from shared appliances,  a one big fridge rather than four medium sized ones.

Oh, how to make an Ekinoid home?  I don't know.  If you have ideas, visit their site (link is above) and read the criteria they have.

A few names added to the sidebar.

I just added Stephen's Lighthouse, and heart of innovation (link is to 100 ways to increase creativity at work - for the current page, look at the sidebar).  Shelly Terrell -whose blog I follow, but don't appear to have noticed this post from a year ago - is also worth mentioning.

From 100 simple ways to be more creative:
3. Tape record your ideas on your commute to and from work.
8. Go for a daily brainstorming walk.
22. Transform your assumptions into "How can I?" questions.

43. Ask yourself what the simplest solution is.
44. Get fast feedback from people you trust.
45. Conduct more experiments.
45. Ask yourself what the market wants or needs.
46. Ask "What's the worst thing that could happen if I fail?"
47. Pilot your idea, even if it's not ready.
97. Make drawings of your ideas.
Other on the list are varieties of brainstorming and ways to improve collaboration.  I approve of both, but chose to list ten that were more unusual to me.
Terrell focuses on goals for the year and works up some interesting and very specific ones.  Here are here for creativity:

Short-term- Have a lesson where your students are allowed and encouraged to explore several options and discuss which one was a success and which not so successful.

Long-term- Support an art, music, or drama, or other creative program in your school. If the school is lacking a program then help students create an event/club that supports creativity. For example, in my church we hosted monthly open mic shows and served coffee and snacks to raise money. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Caption Contest at Monster Island

Kushibo at Monster Island wants you to report Kim Jong-un's words as he climbs out of a tank.

My contribution was " What?  This was my grandfather's hat."