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The Earthship, 1980

Michael Reynolds

Pioneered by the American architect Michael Reynolds over 35 years ago, the Earthship is based on the principle of Biotecture – a combination of biology and architecture. This self-sufficient eco-house is made of both natural and up-cycled materials mixed with dirt. The structure has no electrical lines or sewer pipes, and makes maximum use of wind for cross-ventilation, rainwater for drinking and sewage, and thermal-mass construction for temperature regulation.


The design of the Earthship is intentionally simple, so that people with little knowledge of construction can build their own houses. These values make the Earthship concept a powerful tool in post-disaster rehabilitation, providing the affected areas with long-term methods of self-recovery.

Michael E. Reynolds received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Cincinnati in 1969. Since then, his life-long mission has been to design and build homes that will ultimately reverse the negative impact of human development and support a sustainable life. In 1994, Reynolds founded the Greater World Earthship Community in Taos, New Mexico. He has appeared on TV shows and in films, and led a legal battle against state authorities in order to spread this knowledge globally.

A-13 Pictures low
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