We draw a great deal of design inspiration from the bioclimatic genius of vernacular architecture. Vernacular architecture is the architecture of common people, building their own homes and village, without architects, using local materials and skills in order to suit their own needs and climate. Vernacular architecture is the architecture typified by the extremely intelligent use of passive design methods for heating, cooling, harvesting rainwater, and storing food. It is the architecture lost in the distant past because it predates the dumbing effect of today’s infrastructure and globalized supply chains.
We stand to gain a great deal by rediscovering the hidden gems within vernacular architecture and overlaying them with a thin layer of appropriate technologies.
Our design approach is aggressively passive. In other words, we use passive design methods as much as possible to heat and cool our buildings, to harvest precipitation and to produce and store food. There is, after all, nothing more elegant than achieving a desired end as effortlessly and frugally as possible, without fans, pumps or other devices. Once we have exhausted passive methods, then we resort to using appropriate technologies to achieve the most robust, long-lasting and dependable solution. We place a great deal of value on technology. However, with respect to technology, we believe that less is, indeed, more.