ReUsed Houses in East Texas

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by WhiskeyWaters posted 12-23-2010 05:04 PM 2389 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Double-post from my “other blog” –

I’m in the middle of a relaxing and surprisingly productive Christmas break and before I show my son’s second XMas gift, I’d like to share my last field trip of the year.

I went to visit this guy, with two fellow teachers and ten kids. Dan Phillips is a self-taught house builder, plumber & electrician. He creates houses from recycled material – wine bottles and corks, beer caps, off-cuts from lumber yards and other building waste.

He also is blessed with a mind that weaves the long-ago and still relevant philosophies of Nietzsche and Plato into a stellar critique of today’s building industry. In his opinion, the level of waste found in commercial and residential construction can be traced to a obsession with imaginary perfection at the consumer level. Any example: mirrors. In the shipping (and making, I assume) of mirrors for homes, some get cracked. Those mirrors are tossed into the landfill. Now, had the builder just cracked the rest of the mirrors, a pattern would emerge – and patterns are reproducible, patterns create order and order, in the end, is what society wishes from a home. With his ability to store and re-use and purpose the waste, the mirrors get saved.

Dan Phillips has been building homes for a long time – in Huntsville, he has built about fifteen homes. He also takes commissioned art work (and his homes are habitable art pieces) around the area. Houston’s Discovery Green apparently has a gazebo made of cracked mirrors on it. Critiquing Dan’s work, I enjoyed the design aesthetics (we saw/worked in the Bone House) and the accessibility of his crew’s work. I didn’t ever get the impression his art was something brought down by some power above, but born of sweat, bone and creativity. I filed away a few designs for future copyright infringement, er, homages. I hope you check out his site, especially the flickr pictures. They don’t do his work (or his team, he has a crew of three or so) justices. Many thanks to him for sharing his time, work space and thoughts with us.

-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

4 comments so far

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2963 days

#1 posted 12-23-2010 10:33 PM

Interesting stuff! I like alternative building methods and recycling of materials. Have been busy with something similar for some time now….

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3020 days

#2 posted 12-24-2010 01:36 AM

This is good to see. Todays world so many people are obsessed with “BIG things” and “Losts of STUFF”
We need more Dan’s !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View learnin2do's profile


889 posts in 2874 days

#3 posted 12-31-2010 12:42 AM

Oh wow…Trash drives me crazy. I know it is illegal, but we possess many items retrieved from the dump, in addition to the tree parts we hoard and save from that destination. My entire backyard bike ramp framework is salvaged. It is painful to see the waste that goes on in this country.

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View Roz's profile


1699 posts in 3809 days

#4 posted 01-02-2011 07:47 AM

I went to the site and checked him out. That is very innovative stuff. There is a project similar to that down here the is run out of Auburn University. The houses are built by Architecture students and supervised by professors using donated materials.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics