LA Block © Pedro Gadanho. From an upcoming travelogue series.
“A few months later I was living in Taos, New Mexico, on another mesa, this time in an earthship with a stonemason friend I picked up along the way. People say that earthships are the most ecologically sustainable housing thus far created – built halfway into a hill so the earth does the heating and cooling and the temperature stays around 70 all year, with big south-facing greenhouse windows and raised garden beds inside, a grey water recycling system, and windows on either side of the long corridor so the wind blows through. And somehow, when you’re inside, looking up at the big blue sky and the castle-like clouds drifting by, you actually feel like you are in a ship, moving like a giant worm across the desert. New Mexico’s rotten nepotistic bureaucracy inspires complete distrust, and therefore people are more motivated to create local community and generally do as they please. It’s liberating, actually. Such places are known by earthship-builders as “pockets of freedom” – areas where building codes are not enforced, and therefore people are free to experiment and evolve with their houses and their lives, instead of being told what to do by the government. Code housing is expensive and it’s not necessarily what people want or need. Why not let them choose? My neighborhood had a pyramid, a castle made of tin cans, more earthships, yurts, teepees, domes, windmills, Star Wars-like pods, chickens, goats, llamas, and packs of dogs.”
Samara Reigh, in Earthship New Mexico, ……….The Brooklyin Rail, June 2012