FOUNDhouse

Dear Patrick Beseda and Lacy Graham,

I found my house on Craigslist. You two scavenged materials then used plans from the open-source project WikiHouse to built your house (all 150 square feet of it). That trumps all house-hunting stories from now until forever.

From what I heard on All Things Considered, you two built your “FOUNDhouse” to live in during a semester field study, a 5 months project to build homes on a Navajo Indian Reservation. The Billjohn Residence you and your team designed and built is absolutely gorgeous, but the real story ended up being your FOUNDhouse. It looks great too but how was it sharing the little place for 5 months? Honestly, it looks pretty darn cozy, especially if you’re sharing it with someone special.

The core concept of Wikihouse is somewhat analogous to the Sears kit homes of a century ago. In his TED talk, co-founder of the Wikihouse Project Alastair Parvin makes a really cool prediction for the coming century which he described as “the democratization of production.”  As open-source design and 3D printing continues to grow, do you foresee Creative Commons items (like houses) becoming as prominent as maybe the Sears kit home  was? Perhaps even more important?

I hope the project was rewarding and that it continues to grow. I also hope the house kept ya’ll warm through the Utah winter.

Thanks and good luck!

RESPONSE from Patrick Beseda:

Hayden, thanks for the letter, sorry for the slow response. Busy days finishing up our architecture schooling.

 
We had a great time designing and building our little house. It was an intense learning experience so it was very rewarding to be living in something we worked so hard on. We got a lot of experience on the CNC and then learned more about traditional construction methods to finish if off. In the end it was pretty comfy even though the Utah nights can get pretty chilly. I would definitely consider a second version for a more permanent place.
 
I think open source hardware is such a great movement to be involved in. It’s more than just allowing people to use the designs and adapt them; it’s about encouraging people to take action and take ownership of the things they have. It’s exciting to watch people pick up new technology and see it apply directly to their lives. I think the WikiHouse project is already a seminal work in the new era of distributed manufacturing and open source knowledge and hardware.
 
Thanks for checking out our project. You can stay up on any announcements by checking http://foundhouse.cc
 
Best of luck with your many letters! Great project.
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