The utopian ideal I want my house to embody is that of post-scarcity. My ideal home would provide sources for sustainable energy, ample private garden space, some chickens/ other livestock, and a water treatment/ compost center. I would ideally want my sustainable energy system to be shared with my neighbors, so that everyone has enough to power their homes. For this reason, I would want a large lot of shared solar panels in the back of my property. I believe that a home can only be utopian if everyone’s needs are sufficiently provided for, but I would like my home to have the design means for me to mostly sustain myself.
My family, who would live in this house, reflects how I would chose to live a utopian life. I don’t want children, so I did not design spaces for them. I am someone who needs a decent amount of privacy, so the public spaces and private spaces of the house are clearly divided. I would likely choose to live in this house with a partner and several pets. As I would not be in this house alone, I wanted to design a space where motion throughout can be relatively fluid, and functions/ designs of rooms can be altered when needed to reflect my changing taste or the choices of my roommate or partner.
Because I believe that living rules between people should be an open compromise, I don’t want to delineate specific rules for a roommate that they must follow. Instead, I will list requirements for adopted pets (likely dogs and cats).
- Is the animal a rescue?
- Are they up-to-date on their shots?
- Have they been neutered or spayed?
- Are they a mixed breed? (pure-bred animals tend to have medical problems, and I don’t want to encourage breeding practices that cause harm).
- What were their circumstances like before this, and would they be likely to adapt to life in this house?
- Do they get along well with other animals?
- Do they have any dietary restrictions/ illnesses?
- Do they tend to be more social or independent?
- Do they suffer from any past abuse or trauma?
- Do they enjoy the indoors or outdoors more?
The downstairs of the space is the social space. The house is designed so that it is very easy to move between indoor and outdoor space. The indoor courtyard is both a garden and social space. The upstairs is the private space, but it is also possible to move between indoor and outdoor spaces via the decks overlooking the courtyard and the screened-in porch. The outside of the space is mostly natural, but it has a few key features that make it sustainable: a grey water treatment center, shared solar panels, a small range for chickens, and a shared compost center. It is roughly one acre away from the surrounding homes in order to ensure privacy, but not too far away to be isolated. Ideally, my home would be situated about two miles away from town, a short bike ride.
The goal of this design is to try to integrate the outdoors and indoors as much as possible, create a fluid and malleable space, and create enough resources to sustain one’s own living and potentially share with neighbors so that energy, food, and resources will remain abundant and people in the community won’t be lacking necessities.