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Note: Design Forward LLC is proud to have served the Southern California area designing straw bale homes for over 15 years. However, we have moved on to other business ventures and have closed the business as of January 2017. We will not taking any new projects or responding to phone and email requests. This website will be left up as an archive of data for straw bale and design. You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer. Thank you!
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April 2003
Design Forward
 Sustainable Concepts . Design Forward Newsletter 
April 2003 
. . . . . . . . .

Welcome to the April 2003 newsletter for Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

Quote of the Month: "When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." -Buckminster Fuller

in this issue
  • The Round House
  • Reciprocal Roofs
  • Design Forward News
  • Feedback

  • Reciprocal Roofs
    "The structure demonstrates a principle that is fundamental to life on this planet - a simple natural principle: All life is connected."- Graham Brown, Out of Nowhere, Inventor of Reciprocal Roof.

    The Reciprocal Roof is a system of equally supporting beams in a circular form. It must be formed by a series of 3 or more interlocking beams. The simple structure is geometrically intricate and very strong. It has been easy built to span around 60 feet (20 m), but is believed to work up to 360 feet (120 m). All of the dimensional factors: pitch, diameter, depth of beams are mutually dependent. The form of the Reciprocal Roof is a direct correlation to nature. Taken from the structure of the sea shell, pine cone, or DNA, it models the perfect forms given to us by Mother Nature.

    For more information, please visit Graham Brown's website. Reference: www.outofnowhere.com, Yahoo Groups- SB-r-us. Article in full Design Forward

    reciprocal roofs... »

    Design Forward News
    Design Forward held a very successful Straw Bale Framing Workshop this last weekend, April 5-6th for the Hayes Family in Ocotillo Wells, CA. Check out Design Forward's website under Projects > Hayes for pictures on the progress of the Hayes home.

    We will be holding a Bale Raising / Straw Bale Workshop for the Hayes home this month, please keep checking the Design Forward website under 'Events', for the latest information.

    Design Forward has also produced a series of AutoCAD Details on CD for purchase. If you are a professional or student using AutoCAD, these CDs are for you! The following AutoCAD Library CDs are available for purchase: Straw Bale Details, Residential Details, Blocks, and Detail & Block Library - Complete. Please visit the website to purchase securely with a credit card.

    Design Forward... »

    If you have any feedback concerning this publication, please feel free to send an email or use the form on the website.

    If you would like to submit a fun and/or entertaining quote about architecture, building, or such, please use the contact form.

    Design Forward works toward promoting Sustainable Design. If you know of a project that should be featured, please send an email to studio@designforward.net.

    Contact Form... »

    The Round House
    The Round House, built in 2001, is a great project for many reasons. First off it was an accomplishment of pure amateur energy and hard work. And secondly, it has an amazing roof. The round house is a small straw bale building on the retreat grounds of Pine Manor. It was built under the direction of Bob Bolles and Skip Fralick (www.strawbalehouse.com), with group of natural building "students." Their task was to build this 16 foot interior diameter building in about a week.

    The Pine Manor Round House was built from as many natural and recycled materials as possible. The roof took on special importance and beauty. The Reciprocal Roof was a true test of the "students" work. The Reciprocal Roof, invented by Graham Brown in 1987 is a geometrical feat. The simple process of lying one beam on another in an interlocking, interdependent system that is structural sound is quite a project for amateurs. (The reciprocal roof is discussed in depth in the additional article, 'Reciprocal Roof.') The result was perfect. This small structure is a great example of what even the most uneducated worker can do with straw bale and some hard work.

    For more information on please visits Pine Manor's website. Image www.pinemanor.com. Article in full Design Forward

    The Round House....

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    Featured Link - Reciprocal Frame Construction

    Featured Link - Reciprocal Roof Pictures

    Featured Link - More Reciprocal Roof Pictures

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    Revised April 30, 2004