The Shelter Blog has been inactive since May, 2019. Too much to do! From this point on, Lloyd’s Blog will have the buildings, vehicles, and home-related posts such as what has previously appeared here. Go to

My Talk/​Slideshow: "50 Years of Natural Building" This Weekend at Maker Faire

My first building in 1961, in Mill Valley, California, a studio with what is now called a “living roof”

I actually started building in 1960 and soon thereafter started shooting photos and interviewing builders for our series of books on handmade housing. In those days we didn’t call it “natural building,” but that’s what it was. In our book Shelter in 1973, a section of the book was devoted to these materials: wood, adobe, stone, straw bale, thatch, and bamboo. I guess we were natural before it was called “natural.”

A month or so ago, Cheryl Long, the editor at The Mother Earth News, asked me if I could do a talk on natural building at the TMEN fair in Albany, Oregon (near Corvallis) on the first weekend in June. As I was getting the materials together, the Maker Faire asked if I could do a presentation at their annual event in San Mateo, California, on May 16.

I have selected photos from our five major building books, and will be doing a presentation at noon this Saturday (May 16, 2015) on the Maker Square stage in the Homegrown Village section of the fair.

Here are links to the fair and to my presentation:

It’s been an interesting editing process to select about 100 out of more than 6000 photos in our building books.

We will have a booth there and be selling our building books at a discount.

Whether you come to my talk or not, I heartily recommend the Maker Faire. This will be the fifth one we’ve attended and there are good vibes throughout.

Although the robots and math/science subjects are predominant (kids love all this), there are also the more earthy subjects such as making sauerkraut, raising chickens, and building homes in the Homegrown Village section. They cover it all.

There are tens of thousands of people driving there, so it’s good to plan parking:

I generally GPS it to 1875 South Grant (#3 on map) and walk.

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