Thanksgiving Yurts

Happy Thanksgiving, yurt fans. I was hoping to find a Thanksgiving yurt somewhere that I could post for the holiday, but if you’ve ever googled yurt, most of the stuff that comes up is advertisements for yurts. So no dice.

Instead, today we’ll salute a yurt hero. Last year 12-year old Max Wallack won the 2009 “Trash to Treasure” design contest by designing the “Home Dome,” a homeless shelter made from plastic, wire, and packing peanuts. Does the design look familiar? That’s because it’s based on a yurt.

From Treehugger: “When I was six,” Max said, “I won an invention contest that included a trip to Chicago. While there, I saw homeless people living on streets, and beneath highways and underpasses. I felt very sorry for these people, and ever since then, felt that my goal and obligation was to find a way to help them. My invention improves the living conditions for homeless people, refugees, or disaster victims by giving them easy-to-assemble shelter.”

Max Wallack, yurt hero, we’re thankful for you.

Double Rainbow-yurt!

Well, kind of. How many yurts do you think there are in this yurt palace by Hooe’s Yurts?

PS: my other idea was to call this a giant yurt in honor of the Giants. Which one is bandwagonier?

You might also enjoy World’s biggest yurt?

Polling Yurts

Did you vote today? I hope so. But probably not in a yurt, like this person:

polling yurt

While you are reviewing today’s election results, learn about what elections are like in Mongolia. Check out this article about the 2009 Mongolian presidential elections by Dr. Julian Dierkes at the Institute of Asian Research, University of British Colombia.

privacy, please, while I vote in this yurt

Privacy, please!

Mobile Homes: Can you name them all?

Just wanted to share some art with you today. I bought this mobile a few months ago, but am newly appreciating it today as it hangs by my desk. Mobile Homes by Kim Baise. Check out her Etsy shop.

mobile homes by Kim Baise

World Yurt Makers Conference

Yurt lovers, if you’re really hard-core and you love Hawaii, don’t miss the 2nd annual World Yurt Makers conference from February 23 to 28, 2011. Its mission: to educate and celebrate yurt industries with influential people. Sounds like a good time. You don’t even have to BYOY (bring your own yurt).

The conference is organized by Yurts of Hawaii. They have an excellent FAQ section about the practical aspects of yurt living (though I have not tried one of their yurts myself).

Why you should blog (plus archers who yurt)

As some of you may have noticed, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’ve been too busy (or lazy) to blog, if you’re scared to start a new blog, or if you’re thinking “blogging is so 1990s,” read Why You Need to Blog, an article in the recent GuideStar newsletter. Some fun facts about blogging:

  • By 2014, blog readership will rise to more than 150 million Americans, or 60% of the Internet population in the US
  • 350,000 new posts are added to WordPress blogs each day

So in the spirit of sparking conversation, building community, and building an army of yurt activists, I’m going to try harder.

If you’re sitting there thinking “I don’t give a crap about blogging stats,” check out this 360-degree photos of an archer meeting/yurt camp in Opusztaszer National Park in Hungary. Döbbenetes.

Medieval Yurts

Fellow yurt-lovers, my apologies for being MIA over the last few weeks. It’s been a busy summer (see I’m Back Baby. Apparently I spoke too soon).

Below is a time-lapsed video of a couple setting up their yurt at Pennsic War 39. Soothing music, even though it wasn’t the smoothest setup. Good thing some Medieval visitors were able to pitch in!

What is Pennsic, you ask? “Pennsic is an annual event, in the guise of a ‘War,’ between the Kingdoms of the East and the Middle of the Society for Creative Anachronism.” More than 10,000 people participated this August in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.

Yurts in 30 minutes (or less)

On the blog Wild China, Alex G writes about his travels in Inner Mongolia. He had the lucky experience of constructing yurts:

“Yurt building, I learned last Wednesday, is easier than one might think,” he writes. “After all, a yurt had to be quickly constructed and disassembled according to nomads’ cattle, horses, and lambs. Mongolians had to be prepared to move at the drop of a hat if sustenance for their animals, their main source of food, was no longer available.”

On his first try, he and his guests finished the frame in 30 minutes!

“While nomads could easily put these up in about 10, our first try at constructing nomadic housing wasn’t bad.”

Read his full post online, and check out his very cool picture of components of a Mongolian yurt:

components of a Mongolian yurt

Yurts in USA Today!

Wow, talk about mainstreaming yurtcations!

Nikki Jardin wrote a six-step process for vacationing in yurts. Her tips include making reservations (as many state parks now have yurts available for camping) in addition to what to pack, and when to go.

Read the full article online, and take a yurtcation yourself! It’s so easy!

Yurts and IDEO

A lot of people (myself included) love yurts because of their pleasing design.

And a lot of people love IDEO because it’s so good at design.

(If you’re not familiar with IDEO, it is one of the best-known design and consulting firms.)

Did you know that the conference room in IDEO’s Palo Alto office was modeled after a yurt “to give designers a quiet location in which to take notes or make impromptu sketches?”

IDEO's Palo Alto office

See more photos at

Also, here’s a video about IDEO’s design process. It’s from 1999, but it still gives you an idea of what they are all about.