What Dan Phillips is doing with his houses reminded me of a refined version of the “earthship” houses we saw in the Garbage Warrior. His houses take garbage to new level of refinement. With each house being made up of 70-80% recycled materials, Dan uses the elements and principles of design to make garbage more elegant and beautiful, making garbage a more suitable building medium for the human condition. We human beings have a basic need for continuity and unity of pattern. I feel Dan Phillips is trying to teach us how to embrace a raw, more natural expression of pattern and continuity in an exploratory and imperfect manor. “I feature blemish, imperfection, and the creative process. As designers we can coax the world into embracing the Dionysian perspective by showcasing the beauty that is found in the “imperfections” in nature. By doing this we can wean the world off of its obsession with the ideal. Our current Apollonian habits create massive amounts of waste because they leave no room for imperfection. There should be more designers like Dan Phillips teaching the world how to be content with our raw, natural selves again, one beer can house at a time.
Architect Dan Phillips challenges us to become more creative with our choices of building materials, by being bold and brave with once discarded materials into elements for finding the puzzled solution. With an arts and crafts style, he locates the available choices of discarded materials, and then challenges himself to create a home worth living in. Recognizing the need to find better solutions to design, Dan Phillips has a similar philosophy to architecture as the Garbage Warrior, Michael Reynolds, yet his designs appeared to be more elegantly presented by following some rhythm of principles and elements of design. Many of Michal Reynolds “prototype designs” were more haphazardly configured as test cases for the thermal mass of the material, and forming different shapes to finding solutions to energy efficiency. There was a different emphasis on the design. Dan Phillips use of discarded wooden elements added to the warmth of the design, celebrating the imperfect beauty of the natural material in its organic form. Examples of these are seen with his extensive use of tree branches and discarded eggshells preserved and arranged into ornamentation. His designs were not complicated but functional, a welcoming sight to an age-old problem of an affordable dream home.
Dan Phillips explains how designing with patterns, applying principles and elements of design can make the difference when using materials that comes from waste. He makes a great point when he says that all fields of design should use and apply the theory of reconnection of materials with design. He explains how the industrial revolution made a great contribution but as a consequence produced a lot of waste. The wise use of waste is the clue, and incorporate all this into design can make the true difference.
So many of the ideas that Dan Phillips shared seemed so obvious that I feel silly for not practicing them all along. My family alone has sent three toilets to the landfill in just the last ten years. Why did we not take a sledge hammer to them and use the porcelain for the next ceramic tile project? I am going to start thinking of my house as a laboratory. It is 25 years old and a lot of it needs replacement or repair. Instead of being frustrated that tuition is eating up the funds that we would ordinarily use to maintain the house, I am going to try to think of the house as an extension of my education. The shower stall in the master bath will be the first experiment. The cheap fiberglass lining is permanently stained thanks to the Piedmont clay. I'm not sure if I should make up for the toilets I threw in the landfill by using some that belonged to someone else or collect green and brown beer bottles. Maybe a combination of both? But what can I do with the stained fiberglass? Any ideas?
In my opinion the part that he talks about the Maslow's pyramid of needs, was very interesting. Based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, needs of shelter, food, water, mate, and etc are the basic needs, while needs related to aesthetic and self steam has the forth priority. Also, in this class we became familiar with the fact that we are running out of the natural resources and instead of changing the situation we are consuming more.While putting these two points together, the question that will rise up is, why not using and reusing the current materials. Plus, as what he says, repetition makes pattern, this means using reclaimed or recycled material is not necessarily equal to having an ugly design. Design with recycled materials can be beautiful and artistic. For my studio and design of a restaurant, I researched samples of reclaimed materials in the interior environments, and there are very good samples of using reclaimed materials and as being a designer it is all about being creative in coming up with sustainable solutions in our designs.