Special Mentions – Das unbequeme Dorf

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The (un)comfortable village
Project of Benedikt Hartl.
This is a project for adventurers and modern gatherers and hunters and shows a sustainable alternative to a single-family settlement, because this dream is still present with a lot of people.
I myself grew up in a forest where I built my own camps. I explored the forest and picked mushrooms and, together with my grandma, blueberries. I grew my own tomatoes. The forest was my adventure playground, full of discoveries and nature experiences. We didn’t have much luxury, but lived happily and healthily in harmony with nature. Later, when I was an adult, I moved to the city, where I was confronted with hectic, stress and exhaust fumes. I was drawn back to the country but found only a small, barren family house in a suburban settlement. Perfectly trimmed hedges and double garages everywhere. Commute to work and the joys of traffic included. Greek columns adorn the entrance in front of some houses. A composite thermal insulation system (tomorrow’s hazardous waste) envelops me and creates an indoor climate where I can sit on the couch in a T-shirt, even in winter. The fluffy couch is so incredibly comfortable that I don’t want to get up and spend the evening with chips in front of the TV.
Here, nothing reminds me of my adventurous childhood in the forest and I decided to build my own little village. The uncomfortable village counters the debate about climate protection and comfort. Instead of more and more standards, technology and a social renunciation debate, the inconvenient village shows that lowering our requirements and returning to a simple and reduced living environment is by no means a loss of quality, but rather puts long-forgotten qualities of life back into the focus of our living and thus creates social, ecological and health-related added value. Instead of dreary, barren single family homes, an adventurous living typology in harmony with nature and wildlife is created.
The sun was just rising over the picturesque village that lay in the heart of the forest. The air was fresh and clear and the only sounds were the chirping of the birds and the rustling of the leaves when the wind came up. In this village, people lived in harmony with nature, in a modern world that respected the environment. The village consisted of houses built on stilts among the trees, blending seamlessly into the natural environment. The houses had only one room that was heated. The houses were designed with ecological considerations to ensure that the village had a minimal carbon footprint. But beware: this utopia is far from perfect. It demands a lot from us!
As a rule, forests are cut down when new settlement areas are designated, which leads to urban sprawl and environmental destruction. The habitat of animals shrinks, biotopes are destroyed and valuable forests are lost. Building often represents a conflict between humans and animals. But we want to change that and propose to rethink the relationship between humans and animals. Our project looks at solidarity with animals in human spaces and proposes a new way of living together: Animals and plants conserve the ground, while humans live one level higher. Single-family homes consume a lot of land, building materials and energy, leading to even more traffic, expensive infrastructure and further loss of biodiversity.
The concept of the “uncomfortable village” combines the dream of a family home in the countryside with sustainability and a breeze of adventure:
  • ecological timber construction that binds carbon dioxide
  • a mobility concept based on bicycles, skis and walking
  • ecological food production without monocultures
  • reuse of rainwater
  • reduction of energy consumption to a heated space
  • limited own property in favor of community property (forest library, forest playroom, etc.)
  • reforestation of trees between the houses
  • Teaching a new ecological way of thinking in the forest school
  • Health through physical exercise, varied food through own production, fresh forest air
Come all and let’s go to the forest together and pick mushrooms! There we will find not only delicious treasures, but also inspiration for a sustainable future.