Photo: Meridith Kohut for The New York Times
The “Tower of David,” a 45-story uncompleted skyscraper located in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, is one of Latin America’s tallest skyscrapers. It is also home to more than 2,500 squatters.
By SIMON ROMERO and MARÍA EUGENIA DÍAZ of the New York Times
Published: February 28, 2011
Dan Phillips, co-founder of Phoenix Commotion gave a great presentation at TEDx Houston last fall. The Phoenix Commotion is a local building initiative created to prove that constructing homes with recycled and salvaged materials has a viable place in the building industry. This process uses only apprentice labor and teaches marketable skills to anyone with a work ethic who is willing to swing a hammer. By keeping labor costs low and using donated or found materials, the homes created are truly affordable. No two are alike due to the myriad of materials used, so there is an artistic element that makes Phoenix Commotion homes unique. The Phoenix Commotion targets single parents, artists, and families with low incomes. They require that the homeowner be involved with the planning and construction of their own home. The result is a person who is empowered, not only by the useful knowledge and building skills, but by the opportunity to become part of a community as a vested participant.