World Boat Amanda Speer, Dain Daller
About the Artist/Site
Feeling burnt out on city life, artists Amanda Speer and Dain Daller moved from Chicago to northern New Mexico in 2010 to seek a more economically and environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Around the same time that they purchased a plot of land, they learned about Earthships, a holistic home/life design developed by architect Michael Reynolds. To build an Earthship, you must adhere to strict tenants regarding materials, energy sources, garbage and sewage treatment, etc.; however, Dain and Speer work continuously to infuse their Earthship with creativity with the inclusion of decorative elements throughout the home and property.
Much of the artwork built into the home is inspired by the materials that Dain and Speer scavenge that they repurpose as mosaics, woodwork, curated collections, textiles, and more. Though the duo believe they will eventually complete the home, they are already planning for additional structures, like a separate Earthship studio and then a kiln, as well as development of the surrounding property with outdoor sculpture and landscaping. Dain and Speer’s studio practice is based on fiber work (Warp Zone Weaving); however, Speer describes the home as their “masterpiece.”
Statement from Amanda Speer, August 2019:
We are Amanda Speer and Dain Daller. We identify primarily as artists, musicians, and homebuilders. We became disillusioned with the city life after living in Chicago for almost a decade. It was primarily the lack of prospect for home ownership. We wanted a freedom that urban life was prohibiting. A life with less daunting bills, and people not living on top of people. We took a giant leap and left the city in a tiny muffler-less car in 2009.
We are both self-taught builders. We are influenced by mud building techniques from all around the world and all throughout all periods of time. We built our home in the Earthship stye with the help of an Earthship internship and the four DIY Earthship books written by Michael Reynolds. We have built every component of our house—plumbing, cabinetry, framing, couches—you name it, we built it with our hands. We have dug every bit of dirt out by hand, which is a far less destructive method than using large machinery, and it is also much more peaceful and gratifying.
Dain and I will most likely continue to build into the sunset. We do very much intend to finish our house, yet there will always be something more to do or decorate or embellish. We are currently drawing plans for a huge weaving studio to be added on to our house. We don’t cut corners, so our projects are usually quite slow to develop. It will be another Earthship around 700 square feet and have its own water system for a full dye kitchen.
The work sometimes feels endless and daunting, but we realize we have built an amazing life and environment the even feels unbelievable to us at times. We are fortunate to have been able to do so. We’ve created an environment that only gets closer and closer to being our personal utopia every day. We live and work at home, and remain grateful for this opportunity and try not to take any of it for granted.
Amanda has a BFA from Columbia College, Chicago, and Dain has a BFA from the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. We learned to weave in 2012 at the local Española Valley Fiber Arts Center and have now shown our work around the world. We continue to work, teach, and build in Northern New Mexico.
adobe, tile, brick, wood, other scavenged materials
Map & Site Information
Province of Ouezzane, Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen
Nairobi, Nairobi County
Guainos Bajos, Andalucía