Friday, September 21, 2012

Man Made Home: the new Walden?

We're just about to get overrun with television programmes about building shedlike atmospheres. Later this autumn Channel 4 will run a series fronted by George Clarke called Micro Designs which will be along similar lines to Kevin McCloud’s Grand Designs but focusing on very small build projects for living and working. And starting on Sunday at 8pm, McCloud himself has a new series on the same channel called Man Made Home in which he does a bit of a Walden and goes out into the woods to build an off-grid cabin of his own out of recycled and very locally-sourced materials. Here's what he says:
"This is the shed of my imagination; a shedtastic opportunity to explore off-grid ways of living, meet craftspeople of all ages and disciplines and ask whether living a life where we make and do is better than one where we simply buy and consume. A life-changing experience."
Not everybody is overjoyed at the programme's concept. Shedworker Nick Rosen, who runs the off-grid site describes it as "a bit of a vanity project", pointing out the problems of getting planning permission for such a project and that for something like this to succeed it really needs to be based around an off-grid community. Here's what he says:
“He says he is “off grid and off mains,” but if McCloud’s new series is to be anything more than an essay in Grand Selfishness it should be used to kick off a campaign to loosen the planning restrictions on building eco-homes in the countryside – and in the suburbs or in people’s back gardens. I call on McCloud to join with us to campaign for looser planning laws to allow a new generation of back-to-the-land homesteaders. This would create jobs and housing, and bring life back to the countryside."
Dunster House, the leading UK company for Log Cabins and Garden Offices sponsors Friday posts

1 comment:

  1. OK..seriously! lets look at this video made by a guy who shouts out preservation, and then we see him cutting down oaks?? How does preservation and cutting down, blowing up an endangered species of timber team together?
    As always he lands himself in hot water by not really understanding that his actions are copied by many!
    England does not have much woodland, yet we see this idiot cutting down the very best of our timber stocks to make into a senseless building, which has no purpose but to make a film. ( profit)..... I despair of this guy!