The book is part design manifesto, part personal diary, and part manual for future sustainable living. One in which rampant consumerism has been replaced by a more thoughtful design from the excesses of modern times to a new state of being for living sustainably and in harmony with the rhythms of the planet. It is the tale of one woman’s odyssey living alone in the jungle finding true meaning in life and manifesting its beauty into a way of sustainable living that may set a blueprint for our future existence on Earth. The author leads readers to encounter a new paradigm by showing the luxury of simplicity and the beauty of small things.
With our consumer way of living and doing things and how the world is evolving, the pace we follow as consumers rather than humans has become outdated and is not the way to go forward. We cannot solve new problems that follow our destructive actions; we have to shift our thinking from Me to We. Haute Couture architecture respects artisans, hand-made goods, self-sufficiency, and caring for nature. Being close to nature is a lifestyle of forward-thinking outside the box and is a natural means to discovering ourselves.
Ultimately Haute Couture Architecture: The Art of Living Without Walls bridges the gap between nature and architecture.
“Anneke is one of the most creative people I have ever met...The Art Of Living Without Walls reflects years of travel and paring down the essence of how you can live in relation to nature. Anneke imbues spirit into all of the objects that we love. Her practice is ‘design as prayer’, and it is transformative and illuminating for those who have had the privilege of experiencing it. Now The Art Of Living Without Walls lets us all enter her world and dream with her in l’Esprit de Nomade."- Susan Rockefeller, USA
“Thinking about your nomadic lifestyle, it will be more and more necessary as the world is forced to de-industrialize, so might as well be done with excellence and elegance, whenever possible." – Robert Thurman, USA
“We are in a hurry and do not always respect the immediate impact of designs or their future effects on nature and humanity. However, Anneke’s creation of elegant temporary structures is symbolic of moving toward a timeless mindfulness in which we think deeply about the things we make and the things we do”. William McDonough, USA
"Have you ever thought about living in a tent all year round? Would you stay in a tent at a boutique hotel on your next holiday?
The Art of Living Without Walls: Haute Couture Architecture was written by Anneke Van Waesberghe, a well-traveled individual who established Escape Nomade, a company that designs and installs luxury, eco-friendly tents. This book discusses Anneke’s passion for living harmoniously with nature, the importance of ecotourism, and the evolution of society into a new paradigm as humans shift into living new lifestyles of simplicity. Descriptions and photos of her extraordinary creations in Cambodia, Indonesia, Tokyo, Bali, Thailand, and Sri-Lanka are also featured. Eastern culture and various concepts of design are reflected throughout the book too. The Art of Living Without Walls: Haute Couture Architecture is not only Anneke’s design and lifestyle journal, but it is also a guidebook for simple living, and partly a travel publication.
Pictures speak a thousand words. Beautiful photographs and watercolor illustrations brought this book to life. My eyes thirstily drank in scenes of rivers, lush rice terraces, tents nestled within nature, mouthwatering foods, exotic fashions, and models lounging in natural settings. This is what I enjoyed the most. I felt as if I were transported to the places that were portrayed. I was astonished to see tented residences featuring removable panels, decks, pools, lights, and spas. I got a taste of what the author was trying to evoke as all of her creations were installed in a natural setting. These pictures roused within me a longing for eco-friendly travel. I really want to experience living in one of these tents.
I admired Anneke’s lifestyle in Bali. She lives without unnecessary material things. She described how she and her staff created many useful secondary products from coconuts. I was amazed at this. She also embraced tea-drinking as a healthy ritual, and, the Balinese custom of blessing her tools. Her short anecdotes about these things provided rare insights into her unique way of living in synchrony with nature and culture.
Anneke’s environmental concerns and her laser focus on sustainability are inspirational. I can relate to her explanations about the evolution of travelers from the year 2000 to 2020. She stated that more people in recent times have naturally felt drawn to visiting places that can connect them to history, nature, and local communities. This can be seen on social media. I have only now realized that the places I have chosen to leisurely visit in the past few years also reflect this innate need for natural connections. It’ll be a wise choice for those in the travel industry to place ecotourism at the heart of their businesses. I liked that this book was able to present this new travel trend to its readers because it can spark a big change in the tourism sector.
Designers, hoteliers, environmental conservationists, travelers, and eco-tourists will enjoy reading this book. However, some traditional architects may not agree with the concepts portrayed." - Online Book Club
An enriching read!
The concept of living without walls was so new to me. I had never heard of it before. It intrigued me so much that when I came across the book, I knew I definitely had to read it.
This is a beautiful piece of art dedicated to living in harmony with nature. It explains the writer's journey about leaving behind the cons of the modern world and returning back to nature.
The pictures in the book are so soothing and calming with lovely pastel colours and always in sync with the concept the writer is trying to convey.
The way she has explained her day's routine is most relaxing and makes us question our own hectic mundane lifestyle. She has essentially focused on assimilating the traditional values of Bali in each aspect of her everyday life. I am now sure to plan to trip to Bali!
I read this book as my self-meditation read, with soothing pages after pages.
I also truly acknowledge her strength to go ahead and fulfil her dream of living in tents. She has the courage to do it without caring what people think of her. And now she is in such harmony with nature, something that we can never imagine for us.
The writer has truly described this book as "a proclamation for a return to pre-Fall innocence."
—N.P. - India
A true global-nomad’s ode to the survival of living simplistic on planet Earth, and while certainly not on a native-nomad’s diet of ground barley with mutton and butter-salt tea, Anneke van Waesberghe takes us by the hand, generously sharing her remarkable experiences of milking, shearing and butchering on her own ecological-friendly and elegant journey.
Without any doubt, her personal story has interest far wider than the audience of architects, scholars or students. The book is a concerted accomplishment to record the many unique aspects in words, quotes and poetry, and striking images and graphics.
I was with her when the blessings for her Bali Sanctuary and the well-being of all staff were performed by the priest of the neighbouring temple. The Balinese people are spiritual deeply connected to the land. They understand their interconnectedness and hence sacred ceremonies calling for Shakti - the creative energy of the earth - must be held, holding the integrity of all that will come of the grounds.
Anneke was early aware we are all contributing to the forests vanishing at an alarming rate, and sincerely evolved to become a forerunner of the necessary movement for being in service of the land and living in harmony with nature comfortably … even luxuriously. Her story is a fascinating account; simultaneously a warning for conservation of the environment, the need for change of fatal consumerism and economics. Her book is uniquely inspirational.
To end with her love for quotes of wisdom: “Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world - today I am wise so I am changing myself." —Elisa Everarda, Author and associate of the Ancient Yoga Academy, India & Singapore.
"The central theme is the author’s discovery of the freedom offered by life beneath canvas in her tented sanctuary in Bali over the past 12 years. With the knowledge she learned through global travels and life-experience, van Waesberghe established a luxury tented design company in Bali and extend its holistic fundamentals to all aspects of her life. Her appreciation for a life lived within nature extends to the use and production of sustainable materials, a deep respect for local culture, simple yet elegant interior design, and the creation of experiences imbued with rituals and intentions.
“I was mentally ready to dive into a life of simplicity,” she writes, “to live by satisfying only my basic needs, and let go of everything. This longing for simplicity, over time, led to a series of painless moments of growth that made me want to challenge others to follow my example towards simplicity and happiness.”
Ultimately The Art Of Living Without Walls: Haute Couture Architecture is the tale of one woman’s odyssey to find true meaning in life and manifest its beauty into a way of living that sets a blueprint for our future existence on earth." —Nigel Simmonds