Development & Sustainability

Water only Wednesdays

When I attended the COP15 in Copenhagen there was a solidarity day of fasting. Due to my Muslim upbringing a 24 hour fast seemed too easy so I elected to do 3days or until I returned to the UK, dependent on what seems more appropriate at the time. I think I did 72 hours in the end. There was a girl there who looked on the verge of collapse who had been on hunger strike for over month, I regretfully cannot remember how long exactly. I was possessed by an idea that sadly got lost in the mess with other stuff but one that I hope to resurrect. Continue reading

It can be that simple

This blog is starting to become only about the hexayurt, however I want it to be about how low tech can save the world. It is often too easy to try to fall into the trap that some new fancy technology (cold fusion) is gonna solve all of our ailments. Maybe it will but what really gets me buzzing is not the anti mosquito laser turrets. It is the stuff that makes me think, “It can’t be that simple”. The hexayurt is one of them, using a foot of insulation in homes is another. However, I don’t think I have ever seen one as midbogglingly simple and world changing as this one. Continue reading

Hexayurt solo build -1

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

Hexayurt response team

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