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ReUsed Houses in East Texas

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Blog entry by WhiskeyWaters posted 1307 days ago 1766 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Double-post from my “other blog” – www.woodshopcowboy.com

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

Div

1653 posts in 1536 days


#1 posted 1307 days ago

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

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1593 days


#2 posted 1307 days ago

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

learnin2do

866 posts in 1447 days


#3 posted 1300 days ago

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

View Roz's profile

Roz

1658 posts in 2382 days


#4 posted 1298 days ago

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."

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