If you put 20 people into a room with 20 folding chairs stacked, leaning against one wall, and you ask the people to sit down, what will they do?
They'll form a circle. You won't find them lining the chairs against the flat walls, sitting in a square. People don't do that unless forced to. As a matter of fact, if a group of people entered a room and found all the seating was against the 4 walls (picture an awkward wedding reception type situation), they would move the chairs away from the walls. They'd likely make a circle. At the very least, they will soften the angular shape of the room, placing the chairs in a curve.
People like circles for living. They don't like squares and hard angles. Think of your own house -- do you place furniture into the middle of the corners to soften them? Have you ever put a bed, couch, chair, or "corner" hutch into a corner, to soften the harsh angle and make the room more of a ... circle?
Why do we have square rooms? Because we have square houses. Why do we have square houses? Because we plane lumber to flat boards with blunt ends. Wood works well that way -- it's hard to form wooden boards into curved structures.
So, we humans live in houses shaped uncomfortably for us, because we build with wood.
Enter: The Cob House!
Building with cob is less like building, and more like sculpting. You sculpt your house from the ground up. Because it's sculpting, it's creative; it's fun. (Said from somebody who hasn't done it yet! But so I've heard cob home owners say.) Cob can be shaped any way you want it. There are thousands of square cob houses. You can do square if you like.
But a round cob house has a special attraction to me. I can't wait to live in a round cob house. I've read that without the wasted corner spaces, round cob actually feels larger. Round cob is a warm, welcoming, peaceful space.
Cob interiors often have more than round walls. They have round built-in seating, sculpted during construction, round windows, gentle archways.
I say all this for various reasons -- some of you simply haven't heard of cob before, and these thoughts about comfortable shapes for living are new to you.
But there might be others who don't have a home. Perhaps you think you can never own a home -- a mortgage is too overwhelming. You're too old to begin home ownership. You can't afford to build a conventional home.
Look into cob. Go online and watch videos. Granted, many of the folks 'into" cob building are kind of wacko, greenie, new-agey people, but they are sincere, hard-working, and have some great ideas. And if you can buy or borrow a little piece of land, you can build your own house (yes ... you!) for only a few thousand dollars. Paid for. Made to order for you. Creative and beautiful. Comfortable and amazingly energy efficient. The clay walls hold solar heat collected during the day and release it at night, keeping temperatures more constant.
A cob house is our dream. Whether that dream will ever become reality in this life remains to be seen. But it's a lovely dream, and I'm enjoying it! What do you think of cob?