[gallery ids="519,520,521"] After we went to press with DREAM, I had this middle-of-the-night fear that not all readers would be aware of who William Coperthwaite (interviewed by Rachael Miller in the piece, Community, Coöperation & Craft) was. To alleviate my worry, I thought I'd share with you a little of his story and suggest that if you're interested to learn more that you take a look at his book A Handmade Life (Chelsea Green, 2007).
Mr. Coperthwaite lives a simple life on a wooded 500 acre spread on the Maine coast that is now owned by the organization he and friends created called the Yurt Foundation. For many years, he has promoted the yurt as an ecologically responsible form of housing. Indeed, he was instrumental in the popularization of this traditional building form, though the wooden yurts he has helped people build over the years (over 300 at last count) are sturdy wooden structures a far cry from their vinyl brethren.
Beyond yurts, Mr. Coperthwaite has spent much of his life traveling and learning from different cultures, always with an eye to understanding the basic needs of people and how tools and social structures can create and foster sustainable, cooperative and democratic societies. He shares what he knows in workshops that help to give people the encouragement they need to become more active participants in their own lives with something as prosaic as a handmade spoon.
A true elder statesman of the sustainability movement, I encourage you to learn more about Mr. Coperthwaite. It was a joy and an honor to be able to meet and visit with him. If you know of other folks like him who we might interview in the future, please let us know at ideas@taprootmag.com.
-jason
March 12, 2013 by 1
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