There’s no doubt that Ezra Pound’s slogan, “Make it New,” sparked the fire that charged modernists to break from the conventions of the Victorian Age.
The movement, cemented in practicality and function, is responsible for some of our most notable achievements, like the industrialization of our urban cities and even, perhaps, the Internet. However, its extension into our agricultural practices and exploitation of our natural resources is where we should have drawn the line. Luckily, modernism is dead, but there’s no reason to grieve. Instead, focus your attention on the next wave of ecological designers who have inherited the job of reshaping the future “ism.”
A daunting task? Absolutely, but with their sensitivity toward nature, today’s eco-designers are ushering in a new era, the theme of which is “Make it Last.”
Enter the gang at Solution Era. They’re French Canadian, optimistic, and fast with a blueprint. Their 2015 breakthrough project, The Greenhouse of the Future, produced by filmmaker Curt Close, blended upcycled material such as used tires and glass bottles with passive solar energy to create a greenhouse. Francis Gendron, the founder of Solution Era, remarks on his motivation to find a remedy to our dependence on the current food system.
“I believe in the creation of noble and ethical abundance,” says Gendron. “Our design was conceived and engineered to create a microclimate which can produce an abundant food supply while using an absolute minimum of energy.”
Since its debut, The Greenhouse of the Future DVD has been sold on Amazon and featured in public libraries all over North America as a go-to resource on sustainable living. Audiences were captivated because the greenhouse is a collective project that is inexpensive to build and epitomizes off-the-grid living. But Gendron doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all eco-solutions. Determined to make his DIY approach to sustainability more inclusive, the team headed back to the drawing board. What they came up with garnered the interest of 12 million online viewers.
Innovative Design for All
The next venture has led Francis to join forces with renowned and award-winning engineer Luc Muyldermans. Their mission: create a passive solar greenhouse that is designed to be adjacent to an existing or planned house. What are they calling it? You guessed it, The Greenhouse of Abundance. The online course, rolling out February 2017, employs the same principles of permaculture and radically sustainable technologies minus the use of tires. The course features an interactive component that will allow users to receive support from the online safe team while in the process of setting up their greenhouse. Blueprints are also available for those who prefer to delegate the task to a local carpenter. The Solution Era’s trademark DIY style format makes this concept shine as it strives to domesticate the idea of food abundance.
“At this time, our food travels thousands of kilometers before meeting our mouths. It is great to have access to exotic products, but in the case of a technologic or economic crisis, it is possible that we will no longer have access to any,” says Gendron.
The “eat local” craze isn’t the only factor driving the desire for food autonomy. A recent study from Consumer Reports shows that 72% of consumers in the United States are avoiding genetically engineered ingredients when shopping.
“With this online course, I really wish that with growing food all year-round, even in cold climate, we will all realize that we have more time to accomplish more and create a better future.”
For a modest investment, you can get yourself enrolled in a step-by-step construction guide to building the eco-home of your dreams.
The Greenhouse Of Abundance online course, offered in English and French, is available for purchase now.
Check out the trailer below: