About Us

"Creativity is contagious...pass it on"   -  Albert Einstein 

 

CHRIS KEEFE

 

chris_keefe_ bioI grew up in the suburban streets of southern California and made my way north to the bay area for college. While living in Berkeley and working for a grassroots environmental group at Cal, I attended San Francisco State University and in 1996, recieved a B.A. in Liberal Arts (Drawing and Music) and a minor in Philosophy of Religion - Buddhist studies. After that, I spent the next 3 years traveling around the states, throughout Europe, and over to Asia for six months. It was a time in my life that made me truly appreciate on many levels the world we live in.

 

In 1999, I decided it was time to go back to school. But, for what? I wanted to integrate all of the past 10 years of traveling, music, drawing, and environmental consciousness into a career. That is when I discovered Ecological Design at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture - A small school in downtown San Francisco that specializes in organic architecture, alternative, and ecological design. Exactly what I was looking for! I began attending classes there in the spring of 1999, and completed design internships in Tucson and one at Taliesin West. I worked for a summer building a straw bale house in southern Oregon where I learned first hand how to build with this amazing material. I graduated in the fall of 2001 with a Masters in Architecture and Ecological Design.

 

It was then that I moved to Ashland and the rolling green mountains of southern Oregon. In 2002, I started OrganicForms Design and began working with my friend Andrew Morrison on a multi-home straw bale project. Together, we spent the next 10 years attempting to revolutionize the field of straw bale design and construction. We were not out to re-invent the wheel, the pioneers had set a very good foundation, rather we wanted to create a more simplified system of designing and building with straw bales that could be understood and obtainable by owner builders and professional builders. As you will witness if you work with me, my designs and construction plans speak for themselves and can be understood by both conventional and alternative minded enthusiasts. OrganicForms Design has completed over sixty straw bale structures in fifteen states and three continents. In the fall of 2008, Bob Vos came to work for Organicforms Design as chief draftsman. I am grateful for his professionalism, wisdom, and reliability. The level of quality and consistancy you can expect from OrganicForms Design has become an unmatched force in the field of straw bale and alternative design, drafting, and construction. Cheers!

BOB VOS

 

bob_aboutI started in the construction industry in the early 1980's as a carpenter framing homes in Ashland, Oregon.  In the mid 80's, I worked for a construction company that built a community of energy efficient homes with the emphasis on conservation.  Working my way through the ranks, I eventually became a project supervisor, and after several years in a management capacity, my focus turned to design and drafting.  In the years since, I've been constantly reminded that spending time and money on energy conservation should be a top priority in designing a home and straw bale construction is a way to achieve that goal.  I started working with Chris in the fall of 2008.  Since then, we have worked on many interesting projects, ranging from 199 sq ft cabins to 2700 sq ft homes. 

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