Posts by Lloyd Kahn (239)

Shepherd's Caravans

This is an incredible resource. Richard Harris, English architect, former director of the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in West Sussex, and longtime friend, sent this link to early shepherd’s caravans. This led me to explore some of the other links at this incredible website.

[Inadequately translated from French by Google Translate. Got a better one from “Roulotte No 7” here?]

rambouillet_cabane_roulotteThis shepherd’s cabin trailer is preserved at the National Sheepfold of Rambouillet near Paris, where it was presented to the public at an exhibition in 2010. It consists of a small house with two gutter and two gears joined boards under a gable roof, house that sits on two parallel rails extending to the front of the machine in the form of two arms between which articulates a metal wheel on an axle.

Two iron hooks attached on top of the two arms were to be used to tow the vehicle. Another fixed axle with two wheels in iron, is located under the rear part of the cabin, freeing enough room in front to accommodate an entrance closed by a door hinged on the left against the forearm. This gate is formed of contiguous vertical boards fixed on two large horizontal cross. The roof seems to be covered with waterproof canvas.

On the wall of the front sprocket is fixed a sort of open storage box on the front. one notes the presence of the nearest spar of the observer, two rings, one on the front and one on the back: without hold they used to tie the dogs.


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Low-cost, Off-grid, Low-impact Living in Southwest UK


Hi, Lloyd,

I thought you might be interested in a photo story I created from a visit to an amazing off-grid community in southwest UK called Tinkers Bubble. It’s the most inspiring example of low-impact living I’ve seen here (and I’ve visited a lot!). Hope you enjoy.Š

Best wishes,
–The Bimbler

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Small Homes Book Sneak Preview #17 – Timber Home Along Canada's Sunshine Coast


This home was built by Marlin Hanson with Douglas fir logs from adjacent land that were milled onsite. Marlin is a marine construction carpenter and he utilized the strong construction methods used in building piers for framing this home.


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Model of Tiny Home


We’ll be selling our books at The Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif., in May, and we decided to build a model tiny home for display. Our friend Tom agreed to make the model. It turned out that he got into it and spent over a month (not full time) on the project. He said he could have built the full-size building in the same amount of time. It’s put together with glue. Window shutters and doors open on hinges.

The full size building is 10′ × 16′, scale here is 1 inch = 1 foot, so this is 10″ wide, 16″ long. Single wall construction (no studs).


Siding: redwood; bats: oak
Shakes: cedar
Ridge beam and shutters: redwood
Door: walnut
Door and window trim: oak

It’s a little beauty.

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My Photo Exhibit of Driftwood Architecture Opening This Weekend

DSCF4717 IMG_1605

I’m doing my first ever photo exhibit, opening this Saturday at the Bolinas Museum. It’s part of a 2-month-long exhibit on the subject of makeshift architecture, and features artists Jay Nelson, Whiting Tennis, and Eirik Johnson, along with my photos of driftwood beach shacks along the northern California coast.

Rick Gordon has processed and printed 24 14″×18″ prints and printed them here on our new Epson Stylus Pro 4900 inkjet printer. They look pretty darn good! The ingenuity of anonymous beachcomber artists.

The opening is this Saturday, April 2nd. At 2 PM, I’ll talk a bit about my background and our 46 years of publishing books on building and fitness; at 3 PM, there’s a reception.

Bolinas Museum
48 Wharf Road
Bolinas, California 94924

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Scotland Shelter Exhibition


There is a festival of architecture in Scotland now, sponsored by the Fife Contemporary Arts Center. It’s called “Shelters,” and features an entire room exhibiting our work, with photo and page blowups, and our building books on tables (above). It’s open now at the Kircaldy Galleries (Kircaldy is about 12 miles north of Edinburgh, on the east coast of Scotland) and runs through June 5, 2016.

I’ll be doing a slide show presentation on May 10th, at Kircaldy Galleries, titled “50 Years of Natural Building,” chronicling our building books from Shelter in 1973 up to the present.

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Michael Easterling's Small Home Build


I told my sister Sharon that when she retired from teaching I would build her a house here on our small farm in the foothills of the Sierras. The design went through many rough drafts before we arrived at one that met all our criteria.

The house had to be beautiful, a home that would be a joy to live in. It needed to be small, to fit her budget and to comply with our county building ordinance concerning secondary residences: no more than 1200 square feet. The design of the house had to compliment the main house, a two-story, farm-style dwelling. And the new house had to minimize any deleterious affects upon the environment, both in the building and in its continued use.Š

–Michael Easterling

This is Sneak Preview #16 from our forthcoming book, Small Homes, to be published in spring, 2017.

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Brad Lancaster's Converted Garage

Brad Lancaster lives in a cottage (converted garage) on a piece of land in Tucson, Arizona. He harvests rainwater and has a grid-tied photovoltaic system. The house and grounds are carefully designed and built to maximize natural temperature regulation and to conserve water for growing. We’re doing four pages on this setup.


The public right-of-way adjoining property in 2015. All vegetation is irrigated solely by passively harvested rainfall and street runoff. All perennial plantings selected for their food, medicine, and wildlife habitat-producing characteristics.

–Brad Lancaster

This is Sneak Preview #15 from our forthcoming book, Small Homes, to be published in spring, 2017.

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Abandoned Home near Independence, Oregon


Nicely designed old home. Note the way the plane of the roof extends to form the porch roof. A stairway led to two upstairs bedrooms. There was a brick fireplace.

When I go inside places like this, I can feel the lives that were lived within.

Old homes designed like this show the cluelessness of almost all homes designed these days by architects.

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$35,000 Straw Bale Home in Missouri


Lobelia is the name of our 864-square-foot two-bedroom straw bale home. Named after a native wildflower, Lobelia was built with many reclaimed materials, including all framing lumber, most doors and windows, and even the kitchen cabinet.

The straw bale exterior walls are protected by earthen plaster inside and out. Outside, the hip roof and wood shingle skirt, made from pallet wood scraps, along with a coat or two of raw linseed oil, help protect the exterior plaster from the elements.Š

–Alyssa Martin and Tony (AKA Papa Bear) Barrett

This is Sneak Preview #14 from our forthcoming book, Small Homes, to be published in spring, 2017.

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