Utilizing primitive tactics to remedy a modern problem is undeniably smart, if you ask the designers behind this crop of SuperAdobe homes that comprise the CalEarth Institute, a non-profit organization in Hesperia, California. The odd-looking, cone-like structures originally served as a template for future human dwellings on the moon and Mars, but are now geared towards addressing a problem that's decidedly closer to home: inadequate housing.
Cal-Earth founder – the late Iranian architect Nader Khalili – adopted the building concept from indigenous communities he observed before coming up with the SuperAdobe prototype, a sustainable approach that makes the most of natural resources. The organization trains its students to build the homes, a basic process that theoretically require only "soil, water, sandbags, barbed wire, and a shovel" according to Vogue.
"It's all about using what's available to you in that situation," Khalili's son Dastan, President of CalEarth, told Vogue. "When you're building with natural materials, you're addressing what may occur in those environments—a storm, a meteorite, whatever it may be—you're thinking sustainably and using what's already there."
According to Habitat for Humanity, United Nations estimates that approximately 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and another 100 million are homeless. For now, countries like China are taking extreme measures in the form of micro apartments to address its ongoing housing crisis. Meanwhile, Dastan hopes to use his father's award-winning building blueprint to further inform and enable the masses to construct affordable, sustainable residences under any circumstances.
"We want to empower the individual to be able to recognize that no matter what happens: war, natural disaster, economic collapse, they will be able to build themselves a home that works in harmony with nature, has a minimal carbon footprint, is fireproof, earthquake-resistant, and hurricane-proof."
Visit the CalEarth website for more information on SuperAdobe homes.