October Design News:
Cave Living and Chairs Made from Car Exhausts

October 27, 2022

By Alice Fisher


          If you think there has to be a better way of living, this month’s design news shows you how. We’ve got inspirational people living off-grid and news of the Design for Planet festival – a free event full of “how to” events and workshops to make businesses more sustainable. We even have furniture made from old newspapers and car exhaust pipes. We hope something will inspire you to make a change for the better.


          In Praise of Caves

          Caves have always held a special allure for architects. Ever since early man sought shelter from weather and predators, caverns have been part of our homes and our history. And architects down the ages have also fantasised or been inspired by caves, from temples in India to luxury houses in Spain.

          As the effects of modern lifestyles on the planet are revealed, the idea of going back to a way of life with a smaller environmental impact looks ever-more appealing. If you want inspiration and, possibly, a vision of the shape of things to come, go to the new exhibition at the Noguchi Museum, New York. In Praise of Caves: Organic Architecture Projects from Mexico showcases designs by four iconic Central American artist-architects: Carlos Lazo, Mathias Goeritz, Juan O’Gorman and Javier Senosiain.

          The exhibition title comes from a chapter in Bernard Rudofsky’s The Prodigious Builders: Notes Towards a Natural History of Architecture (1977), in which Rudofsky states there’s nothing primitive about living in caves, especially as we, he believes, may have to move back underground once we’ve ruined the surface of our planet.

          No matter how doom-laden the reasons for cave dwelling, the ideas for living on show at the Noguchi are extraordinary. O’Gorman’s lava cave home in Pedregal, Mexico City is fabulous, as is Senosiain’s Casa Orgánica, built in Naucalpan de Juárez in the 1980s.


          In Praise of Caves, Organic Architecture Projects from Mexico by Carlos Lazo, Mathias Goeritz, Juan O’Gorman, and Javier Senosiain is at The Noguchi Museum, Long Island City until 23 February 2023


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