Feedback on Shelter

This was at the bottom of an order for our book Shelter last week:

“I came across an original copy of this book in the early 90’s teaching art students at college, at an old heads house in North London. She let me make a photocopy of it and I would use it to demonstrate how age-old construction technologies are transcendent and empowering. I lost the copy before emigrating to the US and for the life of me couldn’t remember the title, in spite of continually using it as a reference point! So imagine my delight when 20 years later I rediscovered that it’s still in print and now I can recommend it to EVERYONE!

   Man – Humble apologies for making a copy all those years ago. As I cannot begin to express my gratitude, and the influence it bore, for this WONDERFUL piece of art. You captured the spirit of an age still yet to be realized, and that’s a continuous source of inspiration!

   Blessings on your house.


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:

2 Responses to Feedback on Shelter

  1. I used the book as a concept book for high school students. I purchased a copy of it shortly after it came out, I believe it was featured in the Whole Earth Catalog. Major source of inspiration in my work as a builder, remodeler, artist, and teacher. Got me exploring down paths I didn't know existed.

  2. Hello Lloyd,

    All my life I've been both an alternative-small house-recycled materials builder and an artist of imaginary places (inspired by California and Oregon). I have recently been building houses (as a fictional guy named Alan Faramond)for people on my art project-as-island-nation called The Commonwealth of New Island. (It's west of Australia in the Indian Ocean – great surf there!) You can see what I'm doing at

    I bought your first Shelter book in 1974 when I was moving to Orr Springs where I lived for a few years. I built a cabin there and then moved to Oregon where I later built a beach house at Pacific City for $8000. – all the doors windows, plumbing/heating fixtures (except the water heater) were scrounged for cheap or free. I still have it!

    More on building – I recently completed a book for kids I call the "Clubhouse Builder's Manual", which is being published by Storey Publishing in North Adams, MA. The book is all about building permanent shelters for kids, with a big section on a tiny-house or studio shelter for grownups. This book is for non-carpenters of any age, kind of like the Idiot Book for VW owners! It will be out in March, 2013. When writing the "Recommended Reading" section I looked you up on Google and then realized the range of work you have done since you first published "Shelter". Bravo!

    I hope we can meet some time soon!


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