Open Tech Forever

“Imagine a world where almost all the products we use are manufactured locally using sustainable practices. We work with people throughout the world to achieve this.”

image: opentechforever
image: opentechforever

With links to Open Source Ecology, Open Tech Forever sets out with the ambition to never patent, copyright or otherwise prevent the sharing of ideas and designs created by them (and their wider community). On the ground, they are renovating a 1960’s barn on 40 acres in Colorado into their first “Open Source Microfactory” and ran a modestly successful Indiegogo campaign to help with the funds.

The next major project is an open challenge, inviting entries to design a ‘Forever Home’ out of Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB), that the team will then go on to build on the site in Colorado. It needs to be built to Living Building Standards 2.1, which as a set of guidelines is worth a look in itself. The use of CEB’s ties in to the open source design of the CEB Press (brilliantly nicknamed The Liberator) which you can see and even attempt to build for yourself here.

Don’t forget to subscribe!

Glorious Mud! An introduction to earth buildings

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) is running a 2 day course in Slawston, Leicestershire on the 30th of April and 1st of May on earth buildings, including talks and hands-on repairs of an earth walled stable block.


You can book 1 or 2 days, or just the evening lecture on the 30th. More info below. LESSBIG will be there and we look forward to writing it up afterwards!

Continue reading “Glorious Mud! An introduction to earth buildings”

Modern Primitive Exchange

“Modern Primitive Exchange (MPEx) is a forum of art, design and ideas for living through the End Times.”

image: modernprimitiveexchange
image: modernprimitiveexchange

This project, as the image above, and their title suggests, are an interesting collision of high and low tech concepts, well worth a browse for inspiring writing and videos. Supported by The Canary Project, who, amongst other things produced the Green Patriot Posters book (that I own and would recommend)  They seem to share a lot with the Dark Mountain Project on this side of the Atlantic. I particularly enjoyed the TED talk about why TED talks are rubbish (link) and a residence described as resolutely NOT Modern Primitive (link) – a 60 storey, one family house worth over $1bn. Ouch!

Check it out, and don’t forget to subscribe.

Where will we live?

LESSBIG starts off the new year with this brilliant long read essay by James Meek, from the London Review of Books. Meek is an established name when it comes to writing about privatization and his collected essays ‘Private Island’ will be published by Verso.


image: Wikipedia
image: Wikipedia

This essay comes at the housing crisis from a variety of angles, yet the key points are widely relevant and long term. As a relative novice, I found the walk through of the last 50-100 years of general and social housing policies and history invaluable in explaining why we are where we are today. Can’t recommend this strongly enough. Enjoy!

I am getting the next load of posts written up and ready, so stay tuned for more like this over the coming year. Don’t forget to subscribe.

30 links for the holidays!

Hope you are all rested up and ready to relax for the holidays, LESSBIG will be hibernating for a brief spell but until then we leave you with this monster list of 30 good links to keep your sustainable and self-built housing whistle wet. It’ll keep you busy until February! We hope 2014 is a good year for you all!

image -
image –

Read on…

Continue reading “30 links for the holidays!”