Expanding and Redefining The Idea Of Home


Image credit Sam Oberter

Nic Darling is part of Postgreen Homes, builder of the 100K house and others that I have raved about; Postgreen is a different kind of developer, working in gritty urban parts of Philadelphia, doing smaller, more affordable projects, using edgy designers like Interface Studio Architects.

Now Nic gets philosophical, thinking about a different kind of home. He notes first that our houses aren't just houses anymore.

Home has also become something beyond shelter in terms of use. It is an entertainment center, a hotel for guests, a restaurant, a theatre, a game hall and so on. Home has absorbed segments of public life, swelling and solidifying. Even work has slipped into the homes so that many of us imagine an office as a vital part of any house. And yet, it is exclusive, exclusionary, fiercely insular.

He describes some of the ways that our homes might change:

A more mobile lifestyle - Mobility might need ideas of home that are more temporal. Homes that pop up in various cities for limited amounts of time. Transportable homes attached to something other than a physical structure.

That has certainly been a recurring theme on TreeHugger, from my obsession with the MiniHome to plug-in cities.

Environmental concern - Smaller homes are greener homes. We may need to think of a type of home that loses some of the weight its gained. That returns some of the functionality to the public realm. We may need the idea of the "city as your living room" to spread beyond the city.

Here, Nic makes a really important point: the other side to living with less, getting by in smaller spaces, is that you can be part of something bigger. Just as I go on about small fridges making good cities, the fact is that the city is not just your living room, it is also your kitchen and recreation room. It is easier to live with less when you are surrounded by more.

There's more, including a questioning of home ownership, dealing with an aging population and multigenerational housing, along with a thoughtful response from another TreeHugger regular, Greg Lavardera, in PostGreen Homes.
More on PostGreen:
100K House From Postgreen Wins LEED Project of the Year
Best of Green: Design and Architecture
Quote of the Day: Building Green Houses is Like "Polishing a Turd"
Good Green Design Doesn't Have To Be Expensive: The M&M; House

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Tags: Designers | Green Building | Philadelphia

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