AS DUUVY Jester watched the alien looking 'Earthships' arise on the horizon of the New Mexico desert the café he had left behind in Melbourne was the furthest thing from his mind.
Surrounded by sage vegetation and snow-capped mountains, and a half an hour from the nearest power source, the car stopped in the middle of the desert and he walked into his new life.
He was introduced to the 30 other successful applicants, chosen from a potential 3000, who would all be educated at the 'Earthship' academy.
'Earthships' are an autonomous building design that basically encompass all areas of living within the design itself and that work together symbiotically.
"For me an Earthship is basically a living organism that you live inside of," said Mr Jester.
"The buildings are basically designed to take care of all the human needs from food, shelter, comfort, water, power, sewerage treatment, while being completely decentralised, and not being plugged into any kind of local infrastructure and there is onsite sewage treatment, and everything happens within the building itself," he said.
"It is a really nice balance between modern architecture and middle earth."
Even on that first day, Mr Jester was aware of their effectiveness as the applicants sat there munching on kale and tomatoes, in a house smelling like the Amazonian rainforest and at a balmy 22 degrees, while outside the desert temperatures dropped to minus 10 degrees.
BUt locals need not travel to the United States to learn more about Earthships.
The founder of the 'Earthship' concept, and Mr Jester's course co-ordinator, Michael Reynolds is coming to Australia and will be giving a talk in Nimbin, the only regional date apart from Alice Springs.
The Earthship Biotecture founder is the architect who has spent the last forty plus years evolving the concept of home.
Mr Jester said the house designs were not be everyone's taste, but they offered more than traditional off-the-grid housing as the actual design of the house all contributed to a streamlined efficiency reducing waste and harnessing the natural elements.
"So it is made up of a series of living systems - so you have building with natural recycled materials, solar and wind electricity, solar heat and cooling, harvesting water and reusing that water four times for basic use as well as food production, and sewerage treatment," he said.
Michael Reynolds lecture tour will take place at Nimbin Town Hall on October 20 at 6:30 with tickets available at the website for US$50.