Free and Real

Evia, Greece
Communal / Co-Housing
2010 - Present

1 Science and Research 2 Personal Yurt 3 Communal Yurt

Unlike the rapidly aging populations of boomer-era communities, Free and Real has a booming millennial population. Founded in 2010, Free and Real is a sustainable ecovillage on the island of Evia in Greece. The acronym Free and Real stands for “Freedom of Resources for Everyone, Everywhere, Respect, Equality, Awareness and learning. The goal of the experimental ecovillage is to develop a resource-based economy for the the entire planet. The founder, Apostolos Sianos, cites Star Trek as one of his inspirations; the show depicts a society that has abandoned money where everyone works for the improvement of all species.

Free and Real’s three acre plot of land functions as a school teaching methods of self-sufficiency and a testing ground for new modes of sustainable construction. The Telaithrion project features the familiar form of the geodesic dome that houses the Free and Real school and research center. In addition to demonstration building projects, they research different forms of farming like permaculture, agroforestry, and the Masanobu Fukuoka mehtod. Though still under cronstruction, the final Telaithrion Project will provide personal yurts, with a central communal yurt. They practice a form of communal decision making based on the scientific method, and is meant to be free of emotions and opinions.

Guest programs and conferences are the main source of income for the community, but most members work outside of ZEGG. There is also a small publishing house, an environmental planning consultancy, pub (11), bookshop (10), and cafe (#). Communal dining room that seats over 100 (#), swimming pool (#), sauna (#), art studio (#), and library (#).

As an ecovillage, ZEGG has achieved a high-level of self-sufficiency. The community has its own water supply and eco-waste treatment center. Buildings use passive-solar, insulation, and are heated by wood chip heating plant.  

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Annie Schneider

Communes in the New World

The question of how to live together—of how best to live together—is the foundation of any society. The last few years have exposed the fault lines in our current system: climatic catastrophe, economic crisis, supply chain collapse, civil unrest, rampant inequality, and a global pandemic. We live in congested cities and in potentially dangerous proximity, yet remain isolated. In light of these mounting pressures, it’s time to revisit the fundamentals. How to Live Together offers alternative ways of being, thinking, dwelling, and living. It calls into question every basic assumption and prevailing social norm: belief, sex, the nuclear family, property ownership, our relationship to land, production, and consumption. It is both a critique and a roadmap.