architecture · play

10 Of the Most Unusual Homes in the World | Bored Panda

From Now Playing:

Moving into and setting up your new home is definitely one of the most exciting things – especially for those who never find enough outlets for their ideas and designs. Throughout history, people have gone from caves to huts to castles to blocks of flats – and nowadays, seems like you can find an example of just anything. Some people are forced to get creative because of some physical restrictions – like small or unusual space – while others do so just because.

If you feel like you could use some inspiration to design your future home – or just like checking out the weird ideas some people have – this post is just for you! Would you choose to live in a former church, or a renovated water tower? Or how about a completely transparent house, or one that is a spitting image of the Flintstones’ cave? Check out our selection of world’s weirdest houses and share your thoughts in the comments!

see all ten houses via 10 Of the Most Unusual Homes in the World | Bored Panda.

architecture · creativity · play

These Insane Houses Have Indoor Slides | i09

Sometimes it’s nice to add a little play into a normally quiet, serene space like the home.

Whether you’re a superhero or still reliving your childhood, an indoor slide is obviously the best way to get from one floor to the other in your home. Here are some houses that turn slides into amazing works of art — and stairway replacements.

more via These Insane Houses Have Indoor Slides.

behavior · community · culture · environment · happiness · psychology

The Psychological Importance of Home

English: Clayton H. Delano House, Ticonderoga,...
Our sense of place, and particularly our home, can be very intricately woven into our identities. Image via Wikipedia

As the weekend, approaches, many of us are making plans to go out to events in our local cities, or work around the house, or just sleep in our own beds after several weeks of visiting and traveling. The psychology of home is very important to us humans, and was captured really well in an article by Julie Beck in The Atlantic:

Susan Clayton, an environmental psychologist at the College of Wooster, says that for many people, their home is part of their self-definition, which is why we do things like decorate our houses and take care of our lawns. These large patches of vegetation serve little real purpose, but they are part of a public face people put on, displaying their home as an extension of themselves. It’s hardly rare, though, in our mobile modern society, to accumulate several different homes over the course of a lifetime. So how does that affect our conception of ourselves?

When you visit a place you used to live, these cues can cause you to revert back to the person you were when you lived there.

For better or worse, the place where we grew up usually retains an iconic status, Clayton says. But while it’s human nature to want to have a place to belong, we also want to be special, and defining yourself as someone who once lived somewhere more interesting than the suburbs of Michigan is one way to do that. “You might choose to identify as a person who used to live somewhere else, because it makes you distinctive,” Clayton says. I know full well that living in Paris for three months doesn’t make me a Parisian, but that doesn’t mean there’s not an Eiffel Tower on my shower curtain anyway.

We may use our homes to help distinguish ourselves, but the dominant Western viewpoint is that regardless of location, the individual remains unchanged. It wasn’t until I stumbled across the following notion, mentioned in passing in a book about a Hindu pilgrimage by William S. Sax, that I began to question that idea: “People and the places where they reside are engaged in a continuing set of exchanges; they have determinate, mutual effects upon each other because they are part of a single, interactive system.”

Read the full article here.

I definitely feel like I have a connection and identify with every place that I’ve lived, although some have felt more like home and have shaped me more than others. A lot of that has been due to how safe or at peace I feel in a place, and how much I have bonded with the people around me.

I also think one thing that was so traumatic about the housing bubble was that sense of losing your home. Not just a piece of property you owned, but this landmark of who you were, the space where you kept all of your memories and built new ones, your safe house, literally.

What is your experience with home? What makes a place “home” for you?

community · design · family · health

Granny Pods Keep Elderly Close, At Safe Distance : NPR

His idea might seem strange, but “granny pods” are catching on.The granny pods real name is the MEDCottage, and its basically a mini mobile home that rents for about $2,000 a month. You park one in the backyard, hook it up to your water and electricity, and it becomes a free-standing spare room for Grandma and Grandpa.The concept is catching on all over the country, but nowhere more so than Virginia, where the state government has eased zoning restrictions on these high-tech hideaways, which go on the market early next year.The MEDCottage is homey on the outside, with taupe vinyl siding and white trim around French doors. Inside, it looks like a nice hotel suite, complete with kitchen and bathroom — and security cameras.

more via Granny Pods Keep Elderly Close, At Safe Distance : NPR.

anthropology · architecture · community · creativity · culture · design · environment · happiness

The Most Colorful Cities In The World

Living in the Pacific Northwest I can definitely appreciate the idea of adding more color to one’s life! Interestingly, it tends to be warmer climates that have the more colorful buildings, although Denmark and Finland has some of the most colorful interiors (and now exteriors) I’ve seen. Color has an amazing effect on human mental health and mood. People often talk about getting back into nature to see all the colors. Now, the colors can come to you (unless you live in a community with a rule against bright colors).

Urban life doesn’t have to be bleak and gray — in fact, many of the world’s cities pride themselves upon the bright palettes used to liven up their architecture. From the garish blue-walled buildings of Jodhpur, India, to the gentler pastels of Charleston, S.C., these cities are far from monotonous.

Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC
Nyhavn, Denmark
Buenos Aires, Argentina

More of The Most Colorful Cities In The World: Pics, Videos, Links, News.

architecture · design · Nature

Norway’s Grassy Rooftops

Boing Boing is an awesome filter for culture and science enrichment! Heck the whole site is enriching. Once again they deliver, with this choice nugget from Norway: rural Norwegian homes whose roofs have been given over to the traditional turf — and even small forests.

Image from Amusing Planet

Turf roofs in Norway are a tradition and you will see them everywhere. Roofs in Scandinavia have probably been covered with birch bark and sod since prehistory. During the Viking and Middle Ages most houses had sod roofs. In rural areas sod roofs were almost universal until the beginning of the 18th century. Tile roofs, which appeared much earlier in towns and on rural manors, gradually superseded sod roofs except in remote inland areas during the 19th century. Corrugated iron and other industrial materials also became a threat to ancient traditions. But just before extinction, the national romantics proclaimed a revival of vernacular traditions, including sod roofs. A new market was opened by the demand for mountain lodges and holiday homes. At the same time, open air museums and the preservation movement created a reservation for ancient building traditions. From these reservations, sod roofs have begun to reappear as an alternative to modern materials.Every year, since 2000, an award is also given to the best green roof project…

The Grass Roofs of Norway (via Geisha Asobi)

Farm buildings in Heidal, Gudbrandadal, Norway
Image via Wikipedia

They remind me a little bit of the houses built by SunRay Kelley (my father-in-law)…