Spotlight on Earthship Biotecture – Johannes Comeau

Johannes Comeau Miike photo: Kassandra Jensen

Johannes Comeau Miike photo: Kassandra Jensen

This week Berlin will receive for the first time the Remake Festival – a festival inviting everyone to Rethink, Recreate and Reset the world around us through over 30 lectures and workshops – It’s more than 200 artists and creative projects presenting the DIY + marker’s culture! One of this projects presented at the Festival, the Earthship Biotecture Deutschland, talked to me so we could discover a little bit about the project and the person behind the german branch of it, Johannes Comeau Miike.

*** We will give away 2×2 tickets for the festival! Just leave a comment under this post and press the Facebook “like”button! Easy as that! The winners will be chosen randomly and announced on Wednesday at 18hs! Good luck and we see you there!!! ***

Sitting down with Johannes Friday afternoon turned out to be a little different then I expected. Doing a bit of research before the interview, I understood the basics to what Earthships are and a brief history on the company. Earthships are buildings created from recycled material, which make them very economical and sustainable. From the site, it seems most suited for open land, so I was excited to see how this related to Berlin and what would be presented at the Festival, and our talk left me feeling very inspired and excited to see it in person!

Johannes connection to Earthship really came from him seeking out something bigger then just traveling, he wanted an adventure and was very inspired about the story and concept behind Earthship. So he set out for a 2 months intensive program Earthship as to learn and truly understand this idea and way of life, with the desire to bring it back to Berlin, to share it with others and create something new and exciting. When he returned from the program Earthship Biotecture Deutschland was created. A company who connected others around Germany who believe in this project together. To create and form a foundation to expand and see where this carries them. He is still testing out the footings and how all the elements of a new company and adapting these ideas will all form into one. Yet, he seems like he is on the right path and I am very excited to see what happens next for him and Earthship Biotecture Deutschland.

How did you find and get involved with Earthship?
I realized, while looking at the way we live, consume and produce things, there has to be a better way. So I began reaching out, traveling and looking for different views regarding this issue and came across Earthship, and an amazing film called Garbage Warriors, which was very inspiring. It gave me a glimpse into solutions out there, and the people fighting for them. Earthship have been developing and practicing these methods for over 40 years. I wanted to experience something new, learn and take in new ideas and ways of living to bring back into a different part of the world. So we set out and went to the Earthship Academy Program. Which is located in Taos, New Mexico and is a program with 6 days a week of hands on as well as class room sessions, teaching you how to create these Earthship homes and this way of life.

Now, what is an Earthship?
It’s a building that is aimed at giving people a peace of mind, and freedom. It provides you with the security of your needs. Being: clean water, ability to produce your own food, treated water, and a sustainable system and home. At its core it’s about adapting to nature, working with it rather then against it. It is using recycled materials. It can be built in any environment, by making small changes depending on the needs of the climate.

North Entrance photo: Johannes Comeau Miike

North Entrance photo: Johannes Comeau Miike

Aquaponics photo: Johannes Comeau Miike

Aquaponics photo: Johannes Comeau Miike

It seems as though this is such an obvious and desirable solution to living along side the environment without impacting it in a negative way, but these houses seem more fitting to wide open land to build upon. So basing your branch in Berlin, how do you plan on creating this way of living with in this environment?
What I am interested in is developing new solutions that are adapted to our environment here. One being the case we occupy buildings temporary. So figuring how do we create systems built to the fact we may have to leave most spaces in a year or two. We need to find a way to be able to take apart and relocate rather then starting over at each space. Finding and using systems and materials that can be mobile, re-used, or shifted into a new cycle of use. These are simple ideas we can dive into and discover, some we will be playing with at the Remake Festival.

The Berlin Remake Festival sounds like the perfect way to reach out to a new audience. What will you be doing at the festival, and what do you hope people will take away from it?
We will be doing a lot of demonstrating and experiencing at the festival. Playing with different materials and systems to see what works best in place of creating the elements of an Earthship house with in the limits we have here. Also, we will be working with a new partner, who re-uses broke solar panels to create new ones, adding a new idea to the dream and picture of this project.
I hope this inspires and empowers others to look at the things differently and perhaps bring new thoughts to way we live life. Also, to be out there and showing our ideas will give us the chance to connect with others, to either introduce them to the Earthship as a whole, or to even connect with us here in Berlin and be apart of this community. Sharing their ideas with us, creating and discovering more.

Food Production photo: Johannes Comeau Miike

Food Production photo: Johannes Comeau Miike

2 Walls photo: Johannes Comeau Miike

2 Walls photo: Johannes Comeau Miike

So what is next for Earthship Biotecture Deutschland?
To continue to discover and grow, evaluating the way we live. I think this dream is so inspiring for a lot of people and Earthship Biotecture Deutschland is becoming a platform to connect others interested into this idea as well has bringing new thoughts and take on this matter to the table. We are still in very young stages, but it’s on the right track.

Don’t forget to check the links in which you can find out more about Earthship Biotecture Deutschland and check out Johannes project Let Us Be Human. Plus, you can see his journey through the Earthship Academy Program.

Rainbow photo: Johannes Comeau Miike

Rainbow photo: Johannes Comeau Miike

And check the whole program for the Remake Festival at Platoon Kunsthalle!

*** We will give away 2×2 tickets for the festival! Just leave a comment under this post and press the Facebook “like”button! Easy as that! The winners will be chosen randomly and announced on Wednesday at 18hs! Good luck and we see you there!!! ***

Remake Festival @ Platoon Kunsthalle
Schönnhauser Allee, 9
11.09 – 15.09

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