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Joe DesBarres

Hello Michael: I love your designs for the Winery. Glad we got to visit as well.

Gilbert Williams

I saw the box project on the front of the Cap Times. Found your name on line. This is not intended as a personnel critique, but a comment on the organization.

Do you intend to build these thing to be winter livable? Is there any discussion of this in your program? You guys split for AZ in the winter, so you have no concept of a sustainably built space that can use renewables for winter habitation. This is where I would like to see progress with the FLW school. I see no progress in the school of "get real sustainability" with this type of design.

Michael DesBarres

We indeed migrate to AZ from Oct-May, that being said I must strongly disagree with you that "we have no concept of a sustainably built spaces using renewable's for winter habitation."

The fact is we will never occupy the structures in the winter, thus the added resources allocated to make them habitable during the winter, besides the obvious steps we've already taken, would be redundant and irresponsible from a sustainability standpoint. Sustainability, more than just a buzzword thrown around by people who believe they know what it is, is actually a practice, and one in which our organization prides itself on embracing. The shelters are not only made from reclaimed and renewable materials, but can be almost entirely recycled/reused as well. As a matter of fact this is one of the main aspects of the program. I think your critique is based on the notion that few of these facts were made obvious in the article, and with good reason... sustainable architecture is just another vital aspect of being a responsible architect, and should be considered an innate part of all design.

In response to a "get real sustainability," try this on for size, no pun intended. The shelter program aims to demonstrate that luxury can be experienced with small, even micro spaces, with no need for the overzealous mc-mansions we so often see today. Sharing the structures and this message with hundreds of people each year, along with our own future designs is the way we contribute to the education of the public. The shelter program gives students the opportunity to design, construct and test their solutions before they introduce them to the marketplace... how much more sustainable could we get? I would encourage you to visit the school, or email one of us directly to discuss it in greater detail, as currently I feel you do not have a realistic grasp on the depth of study that the school engages in.

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