We take a design like this that is proven, and tweak it for a particular climate. That is an ideal situation that fits the model of sustainability. To be able to design locally while thinking globally. This covers a given 'micro-climate' as well as a dense city block. We are preparing to build an Earthship in the Lower East Side in New York City - http://earthship.com/newyork as well as a birthing center 'BirthShip' here in Taos, NM which will be a global model Earthship, tweaked to 'look normal' due to the local neighborhood associate. All of this is fine. The Earthship is entirely adaptable AND standard at the same time. In New York I met with the building officials there, we went from a tense situation that didn't look so good to absolute support and help and excitement, etc. This happens and is part of the 'game' when introducing such a different looking and acting thing. And for the BirthShip, the neighborhood association wants it to look like all the other boxy, pueblo style homes. That is fine also, it will cost a little more, but it will still keep you comfortable in any climate.
In addition to the immense ability of an Earthship to adapt, it is also right in the hands of the people. Earthships put housing back into the hands of the people. Earthships provide a realistic, affordable option that is in their absolute control that can literally set them free.
Have you changed and modernised the designs much since the 60 minute interview? (which is what most Australians know you by ‘Garbage Warrior’)
The designs are always changing, as we always have a standard design. Every day, every project we are learning and tweaking and adapting and applying. So every Earthship we build is obsolete before we finish, yet building we built 30 years ago are strong and still absolutely sustainable today.
Michael is always tinkering and evolving every little aspect of what is known as the Earthship. He is like a mad scientist that we are all very fortunate to have on our side, the side of the people. Even if something works just fine, that is not good enough… he perfects things and works on things so they mesh and synchronize and simply work - then fade away. Things that work so well, you tend no to notice. That is what Michael does… and has done… creating a method of shelter, a method of living that works so well you don't notice it and focus on your life, on living… on art, on creation, on these kinds of things.
We have been in most every situation in the world, we have designs for disaster relief from earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, poverty, drought, neglect, war, etc. we have designs for inner cities, suburbs, retrofit of entire buildings and existing conventional homes. These designs all evolve based on everything we do and everyone we work with. All knowledge goes back in and Michael makes everything that much better.
Where do you see the academy working in Australia?
The Academy is worldwide, it was the day it began. There are and will be "campuses" or "embassies" around the world. The Melbourne Event is credit toward the Earthship Academy. We are doing events all over Australia and the world. So, to answer your question, the Earthship Academy is happening in all the major cities and beyond.
Queensland is known as the Sunshine State is that of interest to setting up a village of earthships like Taos?
We are very interested in creating a village of Earthships in Queensland. Nightly rentals so people can experience Earthships, demonstration homes and buildings so people can tour through Earthships, A neighborhood of Earthships so people can see what this looks like. There is only one absolutely sustainable community in the world. That community is an Earthship community in Taos, NM. We expect there to be many more...
What’s your short term plans for global growth ie- more Haiti projects and how do you resource them all the way from Taos?
As the world has moved down this road and experienced the events that it has, interest has drastically increased in all things 'green'. In many situations, too much interest goes to 'green washed' things. There are disasters happening now all over the world… in "developed countries" and in "third world countries". These disasters have always been there and have drastically increased in the last decade. Awareness has not increased drastically at all, but is has increased. It is almost there, now is the time to do some big things to tip the situation over. This is our plan. To slap humanity around from some "loud" and "amazing" projects around the world. Sustainable Autonomy For Everyone - S.A.F.E. In Australia and around the world.
Earthship Biotecture is everywhere. The people are everywhere. When we do a project, only 12 of us come from Taos, NM at Earthship world headquarters. This is for about 6 - 8 weeks. 12 of us. 30 people from around the world and the location of the build join us EACH WEEK on these projects. Earthship Biotecture is everywhere. We teach these people all about Earthships, some of these project offer credit toward the Earthship Academy, some don't. Our goals are to find and teach the right people that will help spread this like a virus. It is hard to find the right people to be blunt. There are as many problems with humanity as there are "in the physical world" (not that these two things are separate). But we are finding them and they are finding us. This is good.