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Phoenix Commotion


Up-cycle architect and philosopher Dan Phillips found a place in the construction industry for a different kind of building that reduces waste, trains future builders and creates low-cost housing.

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In 1997 Phillips established his construction company, Phoenix Commotion, which specializes in the fabrication of houses made out of discarded building materials and recyclables. Phoenix Commotion homes are designed to be low-income housing, Eco-friendly and can be made out of anything durable, although they are usually made out of at least 70% salvaged materials from other construction projects. Apprentice labor keeps costs low while teaching marketable skills to people seeking experience, workers are encouraged to seek higher paying employment after they have learned what they can from Phoenix Commotion. The future home owners are also required to be part of the planning and construction process, which teaches them skills they will need for the maintenance their new home.

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Phillips references Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy when discussing our cultural and psychological affinity towards architectural repetition and patterns in a 2010 TED talks video. Phillips says “I feature blemish” while he discusses how the construction industry discards materials that are generally viewed as aesthetically flawed whereas he salvages these objects to create an aesthetic out of repetition of similar materials and similar flaws.

Check out Phoenix Commotion’s website for more information and details about their projects.