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Oso Homes

An Affordable Sustainable Community

For our Design for Sustainability course at SCAD, we decided to create a place where people of all backgrounds could come live and work in a close loop, circular economy system that sustains not only the people but the community and surrounding farms and commerce as well.


Join us as we show that it is possible to design a sustainable home and community in a place that many people deem too challenging to accommodate. 

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,

we borrow it from our children.

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Our Inspiration: The Polar Bear

Polar Bears have many physical adaptations that help them maintain body heat and survive in their icy habitat.

Polar bear fur is made up of two layers. The outer layer is made of coarse guard hairs which are translucent cylinders that are hollow and allow the structure to capture heat radiating from the bear's body.


This also allows the fur to reflect light, giving the fur a white color that helps it remain camouflaged.


However, the skin underneath the polar bear's fur is actually black. This black allows the bear to absorb the sun's rays to warm up while staying camouflaged with the translucent fur. 

The underlayer of hair helps to capture and retain light reflecting off the black skin. This light is transformed into heat. The bear's black skin is the ultimate driving factor in attracting light and beginning the process

Image by Lizzy Harper:

Image by Photoholgic

Our Design Challenge: Drought in California

Image by Photoholgic

How do we work with the environment

to make living in drought and fog-prone areas sustainable

for our people, products, and planet? 


Our goal was to create a community that thrived with its people, products, and planet. A closed-loop economy that repurposes and reuses everything, while looking after the well-being of its people as a whole, and fostering healthy growth for generations to come. Oso homes are oh-so-good, they are just the peak of the iceberg in creating truly sustainable communities.

Image by Matteo Paganelli


Each Oso home will be created using healthy materials that will please and stimulate the senses.



Locally sourced industrial hemp and hydrated lime are combined to create a bio-composite building material, that can be used to build with and insulate any structure. It is healthy to breathe in, fire and pest-resistant, and absorbs carbon even after it has dried. 

Plant Shed

Plant Accents

Having plants as accents, not only boots emotions, but also can provide shade, as well as cool a house down. We will be putting hanging gardens in either side of the porch to create a little privacy for the residents, and allow them to grow herbs and other veggies if they desire.  


Reclaimed Wood

Reduced environmental effect is achieved by using salvaged wood.  Each floor or accent on a structure built from salvaged wood helps to reduce the need for new wood harvested from forests, helping to preserve forests rather than deplete them.

Our System: Inspired by polar bear hair to catch water from fog

The Neighborhood Pod

The Community Network

The Closed Loop System

Our Promotional Video

The Team.

We are all students of Design for Sustainability at the Savannah College of Art and Design. This project was a collaboration between our different majors to produce a sustainable solution to the housing issues in low-income areas in drought and fog prone Los Angels 

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