Throughout the 1960s and `70s, hundreds of unwashed, longhaired youth from around the world descended on the open foothills around Placitas, New Mexico, and established multiple communal hippie settlements. These youth had read of the Placitas scene in national magazines and counterculture books, or heard about it from other hippies; they were idealistic types from all around the world, and they came to the area to try to raise their own food, escape The Man, indulge in free love and mind-altering drugs, and live communally in tents, geodesic domes, adobe shacks, and experimental homes they built themselves out of plastic and scrap metal.
This book, "Shelter" documents their bizarre housing experiments in wild detail. It also documents curvaceous mud homes in Africa, riverside huts in Yugoslavia, thatched huts in Ireland, homes in busses, homes in caves, dome homes, homes made of car parts, homes carved into mountainsides, homes made of hay, tipis, barns, gypsy tents, and more.
If there's a strange kind of housing, you'll probably find it in here, and you'll probably be inspired by it.
"Building this house was more of like feeling where you went as you started working with it, you know, the material and just playing it from there," said one Placitas hippie interviewed in this book. "...It's like three dimensional sculpturing, you know, we just got into building a house out here that's like jewelry. ...OK, let me put it this way, the inspiration like as we move along through it, like I found it in [Stanley Kubrick's film] 2001, where the dude had finally split out of the satellite and was heading towards Jupiter, just as he was coming in, what they had done was they had used different types of film, infrared for one, and just taken a plane and flown over Grand Canyon at a high speed, low, what is created you know, is in some respects synonymous to what the house is, you know, and certainly our cell structure in our body is synonymous with that...."
As you can probably tell, this is not "Better Homes and Gardens" or even "MTV Cribs." It's "Shelter," and it's a trip.