How To Build Your Own Living Structures is an out-of-print manual of utopian architecture from 1974 created by American architectural experimenter Ken Isaacs.
We Find Wildness features a beautifully illustrated article on Ken Isaacs, a man who turned needs into ideas while being a pennyless Chicago student aiming for a space to live and work. In the frenzy of 70’s hippy auto-constructions he started publishing step by step manuals for reproducing his modular-system designs.
A full pdf version of the book is available here. (around 400mb). (Don’t miss other publications in this beautiful site)
“How To Build Your Own Living Structures explains on how to build furniture, small houses and even vehicles using basic tools and materials:
This book is a beautiful guide about how to make a variety of flexible experimental indoor interiors, storage units, and a microhouse. The microhouse is a flexible creation of architect, Ken Isaacs. The modular design is based on stacked tetrahedrons, which can be moved in and around each other providing shelter and dividing living space in a creative way. The book gives you step-by-step instructions with plans for many different versions of Isaac’s original designs interspersed with ideas about simplicity, and getting rid of our personal possessions. The book is type written and spiral round in a nice Do-It-Yourself aesthetic, and Isaacs writes in a genial manner as if he were sitting across the table from you. He muses on the philosophical meanings of surplus and uses the designs as a means of addressing life as whole; a simple place to raise a family and house extended family that has a low impact on the surrounding natural environment” – by the The Library of Radiant Optimism for Let’s Re-Make the World
He spent later years spreading the argument for light structures.
Recently, he’s been featured in Dwell Magazine: watch video.
Until August 13th, 2001 you can visit the New Jersey show: Digital Justice, Ken Isaacs, and books on climbing and housing featuring a reconstruction of one of Ken Isaacs living cubes.
*: thanks Cimba for the fantastic title.