Pass the Olives

Jumbled Opinions on Living, Democracy, and Making Things

Category: Design & Construction

Understanding Construction Is Comforting

Some days just begin themselves. Today Elon Musk inspired my daughter to look up the Boxabl homes because he is living in one (probably only a few hours a week but still). She emailed me to see if I had heard of them. A Boxabl is a prefabricated 375 SF finished house that costs under $50,000, is shipped folded flat, and then unfolded and installed in less than an hour […]

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Missing Middle Pattern Book

The Missing Middle Pattern Book contains free plans for flexible and affordable housing that will be preapproved for building in Norfolk Virginia. This option opening in Virginia is an opportunity that you can use to convince local city councils and zoning boards to approve a wider range of housing types. If you have an example of a plan that is working and can demonstrate that another city is benefiting from […]

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Man Digs Home in Mountain

Man Digs Home in Mountain and is proof again that spending a Saturday morning browsing YouTube videos can be relaxing, exciting, and rewarding. After watching “Mr. Tiger Builds Cave House,” I truly believe that I could build such a house—if I had a mountain. A 15-minute well-edited video of Mr. Tiger with all manner of electric tools (where is his energy source?) carving a home out of the side of […]

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Tiny House State Guides

The Tiny House State Guides by  The Tiny Life contain local information for specific states, counties, and cities that is relevant to small houses. So far they have Tiny House Guides for: Arizona California Colorado Florida North Carolina Oregon South Carolina Texas Washington Each webpage and ebook contains information about the legality of Tiny Houses, the most friendly cities, a list with descriptions of Tiny House builders, the price ranges of […]

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Home Depot Architecture in Detroit

“Home Depot Architecture: How one developer is turning farm storage into sleek apartments” in this week’s Fast Company is a quick look at an inspiring architectural project going up in Detroit. Since Detroit was devastated first by the almost total decline of American auto manufacturing and then by the lead in the city water scandal the city has been in physical decline for years. It needs new ideas to rebuild. […]

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Remember Cottages?

Just hearing the word cottages brings back memories of wandering along boardwalks through a maze of small Victorian cottages on Fire Island to go to the ocean. Or a New Jersey beach with little houses tucked away in the sand dunes, some photogenically falling down. Enclaves of brightly colored little fairy cottages all in a row near the beach. Or chaotic assemblages near lakes and streams where families have built compounds over […]

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Beautiful McClendon Tiny House for $100,000

A beautiful McClendon Tiny House for $100,000 that is simple and not tricked out with super expensive custom features. Taylor McClendon and Michaella McClendon were all set up to develop their destination wedding business in Hawaii when the Pandemic hit wiping out both destinations and weddings. Having time on their hands they decided to build their dream home. And did. And now they are selling plans and offering to build the […]

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Converting a School Bus: A Home for $9,000

  Since the first version of this post on converting a school bus was written in 2013f, Hank Butitta’s school bus has become a popular culture icon worldwide, a TedX talk, and all the other accoutrement of memes. In architecture school I was tired of drawing buildings that would never exist, for clients that were imaginary, and with details I didn’t fully understand. I prefer to work with my hands, […]

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3D Printed Houses

3D Printed Houses? I have years of printing experience: etchings, engravings, lithographs, and silk-screen prints. Printing happens on paper. Printing is ink transferred to paper — or fabric, sides of buildings, and other flat usually absorbent surfaces. A few years ago when teenagers began salivating over art classes in a museum that had a 3D printer, I couldn’t visualize it. But they were making toys and doing craft projects. Then […]

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Bumblebee Spaces, Much Too Expensive But…

… Inspired by Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse TV show series that showed Mickey and friends operating in different rooms of the same shape-shifting space. — Business Insider The result is Bumblebee Spaces using the normally unused space in your home: the ceiling. Bumblebee stores your wardrobe and your bed in modular wood boxes that disappear up to the ceiling creating a mosaic of what appear to be wooden tiles. The […]

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