Digital version of 2008 Journey 1 (print version) and ongoing interactive digital book documenting the “Journey” of Earthship evolution.

Journey- Part One - Earthship Biotecture

Journey: Introduction

Many people all over the planet know of Earthships.  But few really know what they are and fewer still know what the effort is really all about.  Some think they are just  buildings made of old tires - “what a neat idea” - they think.  Others think they are solar buildings made of recycled materials - “great”.  Still others are aware of the fact that they are an attempt (getting quite successful) at making totally sustainable homes from by-products

Journey: 1970

1970 It all really started... with a house I built out of the old steel beer cans in the early seventies.  It was inspired by a tv news report on the Walter Cronkite news broadcast.  They were talking about beer and soda cans being thrown all over the countryside. They predicted a garbage problem in the future.  Looks like they were right - we are drowning in our own garbage right now. On the same show they talked about 

Journey: 1950

Well, if I’m gonna try and talk about how and why this  Earthship thing really happened...  I have to go way back - way, way back.  I mean, if your gonna hold up a piece of garbage to the rest of the world and tell them it’s gold,  you have to be determined.  If you’re gonna stick with it  long enough to actually convince them it really is  gold,  then we’re talkin'’ about a level of determination here that

Journey: 1966 – 68

Architectural school at the University of Cincinnati was the beginning of a roller coaster ride that is still going on today.  I paid my way through school partially by painting.  I had a gallery of my own in Louisville, Kentucky and was selling paintings off the easel before they were even finished.  My wife Susan ran the gallery while I was in school sessions.  She was an artist as well and we both made money.  Opposite is one of

Journey: 1969

Then there was my thesis - hated by half the graduating class and the faculty because it allowed owner/residents to build their own homes within a superstructure of concrete.  It allowed regular people to tread on that  “sacred ground”  owned by the architect.   The other half of the class and the faculty loved it and praised it and it ended up getting published in ARCHITECTURAL RECORD  magazine.  This was the beginning of something that kept happening

Journey: 1971

After graduation (in absentia), I bought an old barn made of railroad ties on 4 1/2 acres in an apple orchard just outside of Taos, New Mexico.  I put in a bathroom and a fireplace from an old boiler and moved in with my first wife Susan.   We had a son, Jonah and five dogs.  It was there that I first started using anything I could find for anything I needed.  I added on to the building with

Journey: 1971 – A Vision of Four Wizards

I kept adding on to the building with recycled materials and kept gazing at the full moon from the coffer.  The full moon came across the southern sky and almost burned a hole straight through my brain. Guess it was no wonder I had a vision...        a vision of four wizards. The First Wizard The first wizard told me about time and motion and magic.  It used the example of a toy

Journey: 1975 The Hobbit House

Cañon went on to become a compound that I lived in with three different wives and families at three different times of my life.  Many things were learned there.  The first tire house was built there.  We call it the Hobbit House.  At right is how it looks today.   It was built with the help of students from my old architectural school - University of Cincinnati.   New  Mexico was very backward in those days and building permits

Early Projects

First Aluminum Can House In the early seventies the can companies came out with aluminum cans.  They would last forever unlike the old steel ones.  Soon they were everywhere;  on every street, road, and alley;  and in every park and parking lot all over the world.  The can companies had created my next building material.   The structure of this house was concrete post and beam.  The aluminum can wall panels infilled the structure and created both exterior