Treehouses and Cottages: the way they were
Books on built spaces are getting a little too chi-chi these days. They need to be taken down a few notches.
OK, "Home Work" by Lloyd Kahn is close to what I'm looking for. It's amazing, a must-have. But we need to press the chase.
There's a few books out there about treehouses by Peter Nelson that sure are gorgeous. But it's all this fancy, pricey architectural plaything stuff, built by pros. This isn't bad, just a bit limited, just not inclusive of the whole treehouse scene. Treehouses include treeforts and other kidstuff, cheap stuff.
A needed book on treehouses would include views of the projects that teenagers do. It would need many liability waivers. Uh, it might not even legally be able to be published. Ha, there'd be no waivers---it would simply be depicting "dangerous" things that kids have been building---and surviving---for centuries. Which is why we need it. How many candid books are out there on the life and work of teenagers? Most treehouses are ad-hoc, built from found materials, by kids. Sure, adults get in on the action. But it's usually hidden, stealth construction. No permits. Tough to do cool books on as a result, perhaps: but all the more reason to do so.
The treehouse pros do have some cool stuff put together for the public that's worth checking out at http://www.treehouseworkshop.com/books.htm. They include some books with a kid perspective---including one that got a safety-scared review at Amazon: a good sign.
Then there's a book out there called "The Cabin," all about cabins. All the teeny leetle cabins it showed look like they each cost more than my net worth plus future prospects. Again: cabins are WAY more than this. Like a treefort, a cabin is usually built by amateurs as a way to get an informal space up in a thrifty way quicklike. That is, they were until greedy zoning boards banned them even from many remote areas in their hopes of attracting second-home-mansions instead of plain-folk getaways. No modern bureaucrat wants anything to do with the simple, primitive little tar-paper cottages THAT THEY AND MILLIONS OF OTHERS ENJOYED AND GREW UP WITH.
I would like to publish books on real cabins and treehouses.
There are a couple books out there on Small Houses and Tiny Houses...which show a few real such things. But most books are for fancy lads these days, just like most official construction is.
Oh, and you know those Dan Beard books are great: "Shacks, Shelters & Shanties" is one. I wonder how many of them would pass code or zoning. Ha!
I want to make classy books, coffee table books even---but of real life. Showing the way the big engine on the real culture works. Not no marketing plan. Kids who hustle will nail things way up in trees. Good. People with land in the boonies who need a place to stay make places to do that, and often they're nifty. Actually, whenever a building does its job when it's cold or wet out, it's nifty. That's what I want to publish about.
Yeah, up until 30 years ago, a cottage in Michigan was a low ceiling thing with asphalt siding and newspaper wallpaper. Oilcloth on the kitchen table. It was a cheap little house, put up by the thousands, around lakes across northern Michigan. Zoning has stopped a single one from being put up since. Say goodbye to the true cottage. The fish camp, deer camp. Where are the books about these places? I'm sure they were basically the most important places for MILLIONS of people, other than their homes, or maybe moreso. Don't they count? Zoning has erased their history...and future. I don't go along with that. I'd like to make a 500-page coffee table book celebrating the wonderful structure that...is now banned and being exterminated. Show em what for. Amazing how these things are interconnected. Such a book would be cherished by everyone...except those who profited from the elimination of this cheap housing. Hmmm, but sadly that ends up being just about everyone, since so many of us are employed by the forces of destruction, eh? Oh well. Still, it can't hurt to remind everyone of what they THREW AWAY. You know, the thing they'll NEVER DO BETTER THAN with all their venal schemes and efficient modern construction. Oh yeah, such a book would cause pain. It would be a witness to a lovely, humane, affordable, sustainable reality which is now OUTLAWED. Say la vee.