• Rebranding the Hexayurt Project

    by  • January 21, 2011 • Everything Else • 14 Comments

    I’ve made a mistake. I’ve made one of those “my god did I just waste a decade?” errors.

    I’ve branded the hexayurt as a tool for fighting poverty, and focused on explaining how bad poverty is to motivate action. This is a fundamental error, because:

    • Things have a nature
    • The nature of things interacting forms narrative
    • Situations arise within narratives which give rise to the energy and motivation to act
    • These actions change the layout of the props – the material stuff – of the world

    The narrative I was making around the physical prop of the hexayurt was a massive mistake. The story I was telling was not about the hexayurt. I was telling the story of the world, in all of its awful poverty and excess of gross consumption, and I was telling it well in increasingly accurate and brutally obvious terms.

    But the story of the world is not the story of the hexayurt.

    The story of the hexayurt is you can turn what you have* into what you need.

    (*or can get easily)

    To bring infrastructure, shelter, water, appropriate electrical power and so on down in cost to the point where the poor can afford them is not a story about poverty, it’s a story about wealth. The hexayurt is about making ten times as much shelter available, within whatever resource constraints exist, but is not itself about resource constraints.

    So I’m figuring out how to course-correct for this absolutely massive categorical error now.

    Thanks to Heike Langsdorf of Radical Hope (the curator of Burning Ice where the hexayurt village is) and Bembo Davies for creating an environment in which I could realize this. It took a perspective far from the numerical world of stats and engineering to separate the narrative level far enough from physical reality that I could shine the light through it and see its flaws.

    Now what? I do not know


    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


    14 Responses to Rebranding the Hexayurt Project

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