When I wrote about a high-tech Berlin superhome, some commenters described it as an "oversized iPod"—too cold, complicated and big for their tastes.
There is, of course, the other end of sustainable building. From low-impact living in a communal woodland to an inside look at an anarchist bed and breakfast, TreeHugger has covered a fair few examples of DIY housing and low tech sustainable living.
The latest episode of Peak Moment TV explores one such dwelling. Built using wattle-and-cob—a wood frame with earth-based plaster—Greg Crawford describes his home as an experiment in "intuitive architecture". Besides showing us specific techniques for greener building, Crawford explains how he sees this kind of living as an antidote to the "culture of the expert". We can, says Crawford, take care of many of our own needs—from housing to clothing to food. And we may just find ourselves having a good time doing it.
Sure, this type of living is unlikely to appeal to mainstream culture just yet. But culture shifts—and it often does so because of the people who are living on its fringes and pushing the boundaries.