Monday, October 14, 2013

On Saturday, L, C, & I hit up an Echo Park coffee shop for tasty foods and beverages before driving a billion hours down to "the OC" to look at tiny sustainable houses in a giant parking lot. And it was THE BEST. It was called the Solar Decathlon and it's hosted by the US Department of Energy. According to their website, this is their goal:
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Students designed and built these houses. STUDENTS. There are a lot of rules for the competition, but one of the major ones seemed to be that the houses could only be up to 1,000 square feet. I live in a very tiny apartment in Los Angeles and I'm obsessed with design and efficiency of space, so this whole thing was incredibly exciting for me. I took way too many photos so that someday, given the opportunity [read: $$$], I can merge a lot of these design ideas together into one perfect space. My best friend and I have been talking about wanting to buy land somewhere someday so we can have a little farm and a designer CSA. And what better house to build on that farmland than one that is entirely sustainable and beautifully designed? So that was all in the back of my mind as I walked up and down the epically huge parking lot in the middle of something called Great Park, somewhere in the massive "OC."

Click here for a gallery of all the different houses. There were 19. The Middlebury house was my favorite because of it's amazing living room/kitchen/dining room open floor plan. And the colors and materials in that space were so cozy and inviting.

Anyway, here are the rest of the photos I took, not in any particular order because it would take me too long to go back and categorize each of these by their respective houses. Mostly I was just interested in the aesthetics of the designs and the materials the students used. Reclaimed wood is maybe my favorite material in the world.
These are actually at my house. The mini versions of the two mid-century
modern chairs pictured above.

After a long, exhausting few hours touring tiny sustainable houses, we went to the food trucks. There was a bacon food truck. So I ordered all the bacon all ever all.
Cinnamon rolls wraped in bacon covered in cinnamon and sugar.

And after all that, the drive, the house looking, the bacon, we drove back to LA, took a 20 minute break, then went to see a play in Glendale written by L's friend. It's about the widows of coal miners in West Virginia. It was... intense. If every Saturday were like this, I'd have the fullest life, but I'd also never get anything done. 

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