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Far from the madding crowd; Michelle Nijhuis, her husband and daughter in Colorado. Photo by JT Thomas
Essay/
The environment
The ghost commune

Unplugging from the electrical grid was relatively easy. What we didn’t realise was that we needed the human grid, too

Michelle Nijhuis

Don't step on me; the porcupine has become the symbol of the Free State Project. Detail from a 1929 motivational poster. Photo by David Pollack/Corbis
Essay/
Demography and migration
A libertarian utopia

Libertarians are united by opposition to government, but when it comes to planning a new society they are deeply divided

Livia Gershon

Western Motel by Edward Hopper. 1957. Oil on canvas, Yale University Art Gallery. Photo by Corbis
Essay/
Biography and memoir
Hotel Melancholia

Travel is supposed to make us feel more alive, so why is the hotel room a place of such loneliness and despair?

Suzanne Joinson

The wise man built his house upon the rock, in the middle of the Drina river in Serbia. Photo by Marko Djurica/Reuters
Essay/
Home
Nobody is home

From the footloose networker to the exiled migrant, home has been displaced by an idea that’s both elusive and contested

Charles Leadbeater

Le Corbusier's Unité d'Habitation complex in Marseilles (1952) was designed around the display of the body, its pools and terraces, meant for inhabitants to show off. Photo by Stephen Burrows

Essay/
Architecture
Room for sex

Most architecture sets out to make us civil and efficient. Where are the homes that give us passion and pleasure?

Richard J Williams

Photo by Eve Arnold/Magnum

Essay/
Architecture
Intimate spaces

In his Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard created a philosophy of at-homeness, rich in emotion and memory

Gillian Darley

Farmfield II by Doug Landreth. Photo by Doug Landreth/Corbis

Essay/
Ecology and environmental sciences
Farming the apocalypse

When my life came crashing down I took shelter on my farm, surviving with 11th-century tools like the sickle and scythe

Keith Ferrell

Photo courtesy the author

Essay/
Biography and memoir
For the love of stuff

I am my things and my things are me. I don’t want to give them up: they are narrative prompts for the story of my life

Lee Randall

John Berger at home in Quincy in the Haute-Savoie, France, in 2008. Photo by Franck Courtes/Agence VU

Essay/
Art
Ways of living

John Berger’s ‘Ways of Seeing’ exploded a discipline. But his greatest legacy might be a quieter project of re-enchantment

Joshua Sperling

Illustration by Peter Grundy/BA Reps

Essay/
Home
Creating some slack

A household is a miniature ecosystem with inputs, outputs and flows: thinking like this can make life a whole lot better

Misty McLaughlin & Michael Erard

Ruth Behar outside her home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. All photos courtesy of the author

Essay/
Demography and migration
Searching for home

My connection to place is fluid and complex. In a nomadic world, do we still need a home?

Ruth Behar

The washerwoman and her son. Photographed in 1891. Photo Bettmann/Corbis

Essay/
Family life
Human stains

The laundry will never be done. Rather than pedalling faster and faster the answer is to surrender to the eternal tide

Heather Havrilesky

Photo by RMB Images/Getty

Essay/
Architecture
The camping cure

Living outside changes you. When environmental illness left me too sick to stay in my high-rise, I turned to nature to heal

Jill Neimark

Illustration by DC Pae
Essay/
Family life
How to be a patriarch

His duties are many, his challenges weighty, but his glory can be great. A guide to family management, by a Roman nobleman

Marcus Sidonius Falx & Jerry Toner

Photo by Tim Flach/Getty

Essay/
Cities
Bugged

Bed bugs crawl under our covers, suck our blood and disappear, leaving us on a razor’s edge between reality and delusion

Brooke Borel

'The beginnings of civilisation as we know it went hand in hand with the cultivation of wheat and barley.' Photo by Gallery Stock

Essay/
Food and drink
The manly loaf

There’s nothing so atavistic and satisfying in the morning as sinking your hands into a sticky, bubbling live sourdough

Sam Leith

Homeless Gustave, 75, sits in front of the tent where he lives near the Boulevard Périphérique in Paris. Photo by Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Anthropology
At home with the homeless

Is a home made of bricks and mortar or hopes and dreams? Dispatches from among the rough sleepers on the streets of Paris

Johannes Lenhard