EDIT: Link to Nick’s Blog
One problem with categorising dates by the weekends i.e “First weekend in June” is you forget what other events approximate to it, such as a friend’s birthday. So where was I instead of reconnecting with old friends? In a field, in Devon, with a bunch of strangers. I will be vague with names since I cannot recall which individuals requested not to be photographed and uploaded.
Meet Nick. Nick has been living in a field for a few months. He decided he would like to live off-grid in a sustainable fashion and that his housing solution would be a Hexayurt. We were supposed to build it in December with the aid of wind, rain, and limited daylight but that had to be delayed. In the meanwhile Nick lived in a van, and we waited for the sun.
I had to answer some questions in an application recently. I thought the answers were blog worthy.
Describe the world as it is. (a description of the status quo and context in which you will be working)
Stresses to infrastructure arise when it is asked to supply more than it can deliver. Sometimes this is an explosion of need following disastrous events, or it can be a slow build up as the old infrastructure falls behind due to increased demand or diminished capacity. Failure to expand can be caused by technological, physical, financial or governance limitations
Vinay asked to throw together some graphics for the updated hexayurt site. Whilst making them I discovered styles in sketchup. An incredibly cool tool. So I made him a gif showing 13 members of the hexayurt family and a banner concept piece.
So you want to build a hexayurt? There is no shortage of information online. But which website do you go to? What do you find there? The information is all there but it is a bit messy. Numerous diagrams and building guides. Many videos. Some with the latest developments, some out of date. The mailing lists are full of questions and answers.
All of this mess in only one piece of open source appropriate technology, in one material.
A quick update over what has been happening with the documentation project and why I’ve been quiet.
I’ve added some of my work to http://www.appropedia.org/Hexayurt_Plywood . Images to be added as I make ones I am happy with.
I’ve started migrating the work onto opensource platforms. I’m learning how to use Scribus and Inkscape. Not sure if I’ll also learn freeCAD, at this moment I think the accessibility of SketchUp and the 3Dwarehouse to be more useful. Continue reading
—– NOTE: between the time I drafted this post and when I was finally ready to release it the nature of what I want to do has taken on a whole new life. I have kept this post the way it is for the most part since it serves it’s purpose but I recommend you read my next post “The project with no name”
Every time I think I am on to the next step it turns out I stumble across and even more basic or crucial step. So here is the instruction manual before I tackle anything further.
I’ve got an exciting new project that I hope to launch within a week so stay tuned. Still need to name it. Self indulgent teaser here.
In other news:
Perhaps I was too quick to judge Google Sketchup in my last post. I still dislike many things about it but it is a capable package.
Well I got about creating models of the h12 and h13 hexayurt.
This is just a preliminary writeup since it may take a long time until I can write out a proper plan. For the purposes of this post I will assume you are familiar with how to build a hexayurt out of OSB/plywood and wooden blocks.
I recently envisaged a way that a standard OSB hexayurt could be built by one person as opposed to the normal 2 person team doing most of the work and the brief 6-20 person roof lift. The great thing about the normal build is that everything can be worked our pretty much by eye and you can bodge a whole lot of it together. A single person build would need substantially more precision so that he could attach the blocks to the sheets ahead of time and know where to drive in screws later with no one else holding the other side or guiding him. Also no one needs to be trapped inside. Continue reading
I first encountered the Hexayurt in the Summer 2009 at the Small is… festival and with it the oh so strange individual known as Vinay Gupta. I joke that Vinay and I got talking only because I knew how to use a cordless drill driver. For some reason the battery charger required people to press odd buttons to activate it which no one realised until I plodded along and joined the workshop. However, the real headache was that those taking part in the workshop had a clear lack of experience with the tool. Finally a lecture was taking place and our team of 8ish shrank to only Vinay and I. After a while Vinay let out one of his creepy laughs. When I asked him what was he laughing at he said he said he thinks it going faster now that it was only the two of us. Little did he know I only stuck around since I needed a place to sleep but there began a friendship I might in retrospect decide would have best been avoided given the fullness of time. Continue reading