The Owner Built Home and Homestead: The Space Inside Your Home

Ken Kern discusses the design of space in your home, referring to Frank Lloyd Wright's claim that houses should be designed essentially around what we do in them.

| September/October 1970

  • Homestead interiors
    Let us recognize, first of all, the animal nature of man; we design to satisfy needs or, more simply, we design to secure comfort.

  • Homestead interiors

Ken Kern, author of The Owner-Built Home and The Owner-Built Homestead, is an amazing fellow and everyone interested in decentralist, back-to-the-land, rational living should know of his work. Back in 1948 he began collecting information on low-cost, simple and natural construction materials and techniques. He combed the world for ideas, tried them and started writing about his experiments. Eventually, Mildred Loomis started publishing Kern's articles in The Interpreter, Way Out and Green Revolution. Ken has also issued a three year series of pieces (called Technic) on his own and a greenhouse-sun pit design of his has been featured in Organic Gardening. 

This series of Ken Kern's work is being taken both from The Owner-Built Home (already published) and The Owner-Built Homestead (to be published). 


Modern architects have been harping continually on what is different in our time to such an extent that they have lost touch with what is not different, with what is essentially the same. 

—Aldo van Eyck 

Exciting changes are happening to the "interior design" segment of new–era housing. Laotsu has been quoted elsewhere as saying that the important part of a building is not the walls and roof but the empty spaces inside. For purposes of discussion we must differentiate between inside space and outside form. Frank Lloyd Wright said that what happened on the outside occurred because of what was happening on the inside. Houses should be designed essentially around what we do in them.


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