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A Practical Guide to Squatting

An illustrated guide on how-to squat a vacant building and the tactical problems one might encounter. Promoting a friendly and productive squatting movement.

A BIG THANK YOU ! to everyone who helped support my project

while I didn't reach my goal I did raise enough money to print 500 copies of my book. 

If you are interested in a copy visit my website to buy one http://www.waxcastle.ca/SHOP

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CONTEXT  Traditionally the practice of gleaning was a social activity, typically carried out by poor peasant woman. Together they would carefully and diligently reap the fields of left over food after the harvest. Gleaning was a widely accepted practice, and was conceived as a measure of welfare for those less fortunate. However controversial, as gleaners would make use of food that did not belong to them on land that was not theirs. The attitude of the time was prudent and sensible therefore food must not be wasted and such a practice was thought to be beneficial to everyone.



STOOP / PICK / CRUISE /

RUMMAGE / LOAD-UP / REAP /

SLAG / SCAVENGE / BIN /

GLEAN /

.... are all practices by which one person makes use of what another discards. 

The utopian idealists of the 60’s & 70’s challenged the conventions of property, public space and domestic lifestyle. Groups like Superstudio imagined a reality where space becomes non-hierarchal and autonomous. Where the landscape of both the city and country is liberated and accessible to everyone equally.

Such ideals are subversive yet concede the dilemma of a culture that was dissatisfied with their current social, political and economic environment. 

The utopian movement inspired an accretion of alternative informal settlements. Places like the Open City in Chile , Scoleri’s Arcosanti in the Arizona desert and Christiania in Copenhagen were radical experiments in socialism, architecture, and community.

As a typology of settlement, these informal communities are predicated on an ad-hoc and intuitive method of construction. Those living in such a community are active participants in the making of their home and their neighborhood. In fact, more than 1 /3 of the world's population live in a home that they built themselves.

The issues that once spread over the french rural landscape are evident today in our contemporary urban cityscapes. The predicament of urban decay and vacancy are products of post-industrialization and economic blight. Rather than orchards of un-picked grapes and fields of un-gathered potatoes, there are vast neighbourhoods of abandoned buildings, vacated lots, demolished factories and neglected homes. Not unlike the idealists of the 60’s, a subculture of people are once again dissatisfied.

THE HANDBOOK  addresses the tactical and perhaps banal issues of squatting a building. It is intended to be a fairly generic guide that could be deployed on a site in any given city, however it is inspired by and based upon the real site of 90 Annabella St in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The order of the book is based on necessity, for instance it is important to know what to do to avoid arrest immediately after breaking into a building. And how to get access to drinking water, heat and cook food before dealing with issues of public space and establishing a communal economy.

Inside you will find roughly 120 illustrated pages with minimal text guiding you through the various chapters. The book covers issues like identifying a potential site, setting up utilities, making general repairs to a building, establishing a community garden and an unconventional economy. The book is prefaced by an introduction from Professor John Bass of the School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture at The Univeristy of British Columbia.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR   After completing an undergradute and masters degree in Architecture and having worked in the field for several years, Larraine Henning decided to quit it all and run away to Australia to wrangle cattle, pick apples, drive around the country in Danger, her 'sweet' Toyota Landcruiser, and sometimes sleep in tents.

This precarious yet liberating lifestyle afforded her the time and mental stamina to revisit her Masters thesis project, with the hope of actually making something of it. Instead of just sitting in a basement library and being fondled by weary and eager grad students, Larraine's thesis is striving to striving to climb the ranks of a properly funded and published, real, live book.

Aside from drawing, making books and working part time in an apple factory, Larraine also enjoys collecting bugs, baking fruit pie and a crisp cold pale ale.

You are welcome to peruse more of her life's work here www.waxcastle.ca

 

THE PERKS   Everyone who contributes, regardless of the amount, will have their name published in the book as a contributor. So that's pretty awsome!

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ZINE >> The Annoying Treehouse

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PRINT >> Illustrated print from a book page

 

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POSTER >> Gleaned Objects

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DONATION >> Floating Gardens Cambodia

Check out the new perk The Noble Scavenger Advocates, this option includes a donation to the Melbourne based non-profit CoDesign Studio. CoDesign Studio is a social enterprise that works with communities, clients and governments to build social inclusion through urban revitalisation projects. Your donation will be used to make CoDesign’s services available to those who would otherwise have no means to access professional architecture, design, planning and community development services. And the money will also go towards their Floating Gardens project in Cambodia.

 

                THANKS  FOR  SUPPORTING  INDEPENDENT  ART ! 

 



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