Josh Gellars, Contributing Writer
Leon Kaye, Contributing Writer
I’m thankful to be back to my roots, in Fresno, California, an area that faces huge challenges with poverty, pollution and infrastructure, but offers heaps of opportunities to someone like me that understands its potential. I’m proud to call the San Joaquin Valley, a region hugely important for feeding much of the country (including New York), home. There is a small but active crowd here that is trying to embed sustainability thinking and is working hard to revive the city’s downtown–so I am grateful to be part of the excitement. I’m thankful to be surrounded by incredible farms, have three national parks 90 minutes away and to be part of one of the most culturally diverse and rich areas of the country. I’m also thankful that this country two weeks ago stuck with a course that will be hard and painful, but I believe will pay off in the long run. The grandson of Armenian immigrants, I am also thankful, or should I say hopeful, that the election will signal that will continue to welcome people, from nearby and faraway lands, who will contribute to the ongoing building of this great country. And of course, I am thankful to be near family; simple moments like this, where we spontaneously gathered to have take-out Chinese the other night, help build memories (and off-centered “selfie shots.”). Zip and area codes do not make a home or community; friends and family do, and I am grateful for where I now live and who surround me currently.
Rachel Ross, Contributing Writer
The holiday that is focused on gratitude is my favourite holiday- good friends, loving family, garden harvest, yummy food and sweet awareness of thankfulness- what could be better than that? And, ever since I moved to Canada from the US (at the age of 16) I feel lucky because I get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice!
This year has been stellar because my husband, Lars, and I designed and built an eco home that is prefab, round and Energy Star qualified. The house has been our “big people playground” for exploring cool design systems like passive solar, pattern language, sacred geometry, food forest planning, rain water harvesting, Design For Life, keyhole gardens, etc. This project has been creative, juicy, empowering and fun.
I’m grateful for the warm welcome from the awesome Inhabitat team- an incredible group of people passionate about positive design for thriving life for planet and people. I love having the opportunity to explore, learn and write about interesting people and places- this is my definition of heaven.
2012 has been the busiest yet in our business, Mandala Homes. We’re designing and building some amazing projects for out-of-the-box thinking people and we’re noticing a big increase of enquiries about prefab, innovative design, performance and green building. It’s encouraging, because it shows a continuing rise of interest and enthusiasm for a more sustainable future for everyone! Our exciting plans for next year are to find licensing partners; we’re looking for entrepreneurial visionaries with the same focus on the health of planet and people, who share our values for relationship, innovative process and design.
I think that next year is going to be an even more creative, fulfilling and amazing year and I look forward to being part of the Inhabitat team!