New Video of Our Homestead + ’60s Revisited

I ran across Kirsten Dirksen and Nicolás Boullosa (from Barcelona) via Jenine Alexander, one of the builders in our new book. They had done a great video of Jenine talking about the 2 tiny houses she’d built in Healdsburg, California. We ended up using some of the stills from the video on the 4 pages we did on Jenine.

So when Kirsten and Nicolás came to California a few months ago, they came to visit. They’ve made almost 500 videos, many of them on tiny homes, and Kirsten is a journalist after my own heart. Within 2 minutes of arriving, she was asking questions, filming, and getting the essence of our work and lives. Immediate rapport. Here, several months later, is her take on our work, the homestead, the background of west coast publishing a la the ’60s and ’70s, the Whole Earth Catalog, Stewart Brand and the influence that the WEC and Stewart had on Steve Jobs when he was in high school. Yes, it’s all tied together in a wonderful way.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

9 Responses to New Video of Our Homestead + ’60s Revisited

  1. I love this video. It is so nice to get a tour of your little homestead, to see all of the hand-crafted details (the pause button comes in handy), and most of all to see you and also your wife talk about the principles behind how you live. Both of you are articulate speakers about those things that you have a passion and I would encourage more video discussions.


  2. I love this video, too. Everything is said with clearness, simplicity and happiness.
    The Whole Earth Catalog inspired a publishing movement which was an important turning point for environmentalists and underground activists, as far as Europe. The publishing house ''Alternatives'' (born in Paris by a rebound effect) still publishes 40 books a year. Top Ten of the latest : Street Art, Slow Food, Banksy, Frameworks and Roofs, ''Women are heroes'' by a photograph who posts huge portraits in the streets of the world, or ''Doing yourself ecological household products''… a big success !

  3. Very nice video. Beautiful home. Beautiful garden.

    So why don't I do the same, step by step.
    I think that you have to stop being affraid of things.
    I mean: to be affraid that you can't make a house. That you choose the relative piece of mind of a (huge) mortgage that stays the same for years instead of building yourself what you can pay for. Affraid to disconnect from the idea, that you need a lot of stuff to feel good. Affraid that you are "different" than all "normal" people.
    Sometimes I look arround my house thinking: "Now how's the boss really in my life: My (fincancial / time) commitment to sustain this lifestile or me….

    Looking forward to the new book. (and thus adding more stuff to what is already here)

  4. I was inspired to see what you've done. You've built a wonderfully personalized home there, and built a great life of travel and wide experience that complements the comfort of the home place. Too many folks have sold their freedom for granite counter tops and kitchen remodels in overpriced suburban tract housing.

    Imagine no excessive mortgage, it's easy if you try.

  5. Great video! Thanks for sharing with all! Lloyd and Leslie are wonderful examples of a great generation of original thinkers and doers, who continue to inspire people with their practical action. I was only two years old when WEC was published 🙂 But I am fortunate to have discovered Lloyd's website and the Shelter publications. I bought all of Lloyd's books and have gone over them many times. Had a hard time explaining to someone why I was reading 'The Septic System Owner's Manual' at bed time – even more so because I don't own a septic tank 🙂

    The books on buildings are lovely and dangerous! Lovely because it has such a precious collection of work from many kindred spirits – painstakingly collected and presented beautifully. Dangerous because, it's forcing me to completely rethink what on earth am I doing now?

    Thanks and best wishes from India!

  6. So many of us are just beginning to realize the wisdom in the way you've built your life. So much of what has been happening with the economy seems to me more of a revelation and an opportunity to build our lives on solid earth, and give our children the opportunity to know the value of creating real things. My young life was filled with dissatisfaction – trying to figure out why I was the only one who couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Now, at nearly forty, I have realized the path I wanted to follow was always there, tickling at the corners of conscious thought. I don't have to be a scientist in a lab to discover new worlds. Each day on earth is potential that we can fill exactly one time. I am so grateful to have learned that.

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