I believe I need to start a new “Heroes” category to file some posts under.
I found this guy the other day while browsing through some TED talks and was greatly encouraged not only by his use of sustainable design principles, but more so by his utilization of salvaged materials, or garbage. Perhaps this could be the outlet for which I gain validation for my obscure collections and unique accumulations.
All photos come from The Phoenix Commotion website and Flickr photo stream
Dan Phillips created The Phoenix Commotion in Huntsville, Texas as a way of proving that recycled and salvaged materials are a viable option in the construction industry. The homes they construct are impressive, especially considering the labor is provided almost exclusively by unskilled laborers and volunteers, but more impressive are the design principles and their relation to human psychology. It wasn’t until about half-way through the TED talk that I realized Dan Phillips had a remarkable perspective on building homes.
Cross-cut wood counter top
It seems, through his lectures and text, that the primary design parti while using salvaged materials is that pattern and texture create beauty. Bone, bottles and bottle caps, corks, broken tile, discarded tires, warped and bent lumber all can be used to create repetition and texture and therefore, according to Dan Phillips, beauty. Using simple physics lessons like “gravity pulls down” and “water runs downhill” Dan has reverted back to a more primal way of viewing home building. Fully complying with the local building code, a powerful distinction from others with similar ideals, Dan manages to construct beautiful, logical, and healthy homes for low-income owners.
My favorite application of these sustainable concepts is the natural wood banisters and the wine cork floor
The Phoenix Commotion uses apprentice labor to keep costs down, and although there are no positions currently available, I am extremely interested in contributing my services, and hopefully learning a bit about myself and this process or looking at materials with all their potential.
What I take away from this: collecting cast-off material is fine, as long as I can use it to create pattern, repetition, texture, and beauty.