Livingstructure is a place-making collective dedicated to empowering people and communities to directly participate in creating their built environments. We facilitate self-built/self-help housing and community space intiatives. We provide the knowledge, skills, tools and spirit for creating unique buildings and rewarding experiences.
The seeds of our work were first planted in the 1970s and have been growing, changing, evolving, and flourishing to this day, with our current incarnation emerging in 2012. Collectively our crew brings decades worth of knowledge to the table, coming together in a creative force that sets us apart from most builders.
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Joy Marcotte's first taste of working with vernacular architecture came in 1995 when she assisted on a project to restore a small 14th century chapel in Northern France. From the remnants of red and orange paint originally adorning the exterior, to the shards of shrapnel from the World Wars embedded in the mortar, a seed of fascination with the built environment and artifacts was planted. Joy graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in anthropology and international studies, and subsequently worked in human rights and environmental justice movements. In 2000 she teamed up with Jeff Dardozzi, both personally and professionally, and has been working on projects with him ever since.In addition to working on building projects, she manages all business and office operations. She also enjoys making ceramic tile (as pictured at left), special wood finishes, and landscape gardening.
Jill Pariseault was formally uneducated in the mountains of VA, quietly sneaking into the adult world as a vagabond with only a backpack and a bike to her name. She spent the next decade channeling her inner Gordon Ramsay as manager of a series of restaurant kitchens. This filthy, foul-mouthed, male-dominated industry prepared her well for the climate of construction sites. After the birth of her two sons, she opened a work-at-home business selling handsewn items. She mainly used recycled materials cut from other garments in the spirit of encouraging a different sort of creativity - a concept that, for her, best occurs when previously gathered materials are allowed to wait and tell you what they want to become. This Zen-like process carried over into her building career. She moved to PA to join the LivingStructure crew in 2011.
Jeff Dardozzi built his first structure at age 17: a log cabin in the woods near his childhood home. He entered the building trade in 1976 working on developments in suburban Philadelphia. He developed design and drafting skills in undergraduate studies in architecture and fine arts in San Francisco, and spent two years living in NYC conducting adaptive use of loft spaces. From 1987 to 2002 he redesigned and renovated historic townhomes in Philadelphia. In 2002 he began designing and building unique sustainable buildings in central PA, some of which can be seen on this site in the LivingStructure portfolio.
Steve Krauth enjoys driving machines, working outside, bruising his body, and not sitting in front of a computer all day.
For as long as she can remember, Maureen Krauth has delighted in the act of envisioning the potential of a yet-to-be-made creation. Her designs began with beaded jewelry and fiber arts, and extended into drawing and computer animation studies in art school. She spent a handful of years working in the animation industry before eschewing the workforce to raise her family at home. Her penchant for mind-numbingly repetitive tasks and a meticulous eye for fine detail may seem borderline OCD, but come in handy for tasks that most have little patience for. She belongs in the woods and yearns for the day when she can leave suburbia behind.
Jon McCray has been working with the collective for 7 years. His primary interest is in timber framing and CAD (computer-aided design) work.
Steve Fiscus studied painting and environmental studies at Oberlin College, and then pursued even more visual art studies at what is now the Vermont College of Fine Arts. From the moment he started seriously painting in the late '80s, he has been interested in places, what makes them work, and the impact they have on people's lives. Many of the drawings and computer-generated schematics on this site are his contribution to the collective. Read more about Steve and view more of his work at his website, workput.com.