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. earth • ship - a dwelling designed to bring people into a more intelligent and sustainable relationship with their environment . .
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Earthship FAQ
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. Where did the term earthship come from ?
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The term "earthship" was coined by Taos-based architect Mike Reynolds to describe his particular brand of environmentally sustainable architecture. As such, the phrase is virtually synonymous with the thermal mass, off-grid, earth-rammed tire and aluminum can-based "U-room" constructions that Reynolds has made famous on the Taos mesa. While the meaning of "earth" in this term may be self-explanatory, the "ship" part is richer in meaning and much less obvious.
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On one level, the rolling sea-green sage-covered Taos mesa which many earthships now populate easily becomes a metaphor for the ocean (an ironic one at that). One might speculate that this was part of what conspired to birth the phrase. The most solid origins of the term however are in the earthship's very character and philosophy.
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In contrast to the conventional utilities-fed dwelling, an earthship requires the much more active participation and alertness of its occupant in order for the dwelling to achieve optimal performance. In this regard, an earthship occupant is more of a pilot or sailboat captain than a neutral passenger. He or she must remain casually attentive to his changing environmental conditions in order to respond appropriately and derive peak levels of control and utility from his vessel.
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For more information on the earthship concept, visit: www.earthship.org.
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