Solar Decathalon and Sustainability

I was very excited to go see the Solar Decathalon in Irvine last month.  I was shocked at how disappointed I was at the vision of houses of the future by college-aged students.  Here is the team from NJ that won: http://surehouse.org/the-house/

I understand the complexity of assembling a team-built structure.  I know that creative projects made by committee tend to be bland and flavorless.  I know that some generic or generalized elements are required to be neutral enough for a broad public acceptance.   I didn’t expect every home to look like an IKEA commercial.

This seems to be true with the Tiny Houses I love so much to gawk at and dream about as well.  They are becoming standardized.  Jay made that first mini house and then everyone copied it with no real improvement to the idea.  They are for sale every day.  I’m glad more people are trying it, and that there are more available on the market to try.  At what point is personal preference and lifestyle going to trump (ugh, I can’t use that word anymore), going to matter more than economy.

And I have lost faith that sustainability is actually a valid concept.  All things are meant to die and change.  Ashes to ashes, eh what?  Including the thin crust pizza ball we are standing on.  Evolve or die.  Bleak but true.

Those college students disappointed me.  They are the future and the future looks stodgy and backwards.  Same old same old.  Their logic told me everything I needed to know.  The UCDavis house, for instance, was built for the purpose of, a vacation home for a well-to-do family of four, or a migrant farm worker field house for a group of ten.  Huh?

Curmudgeon over and out.

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