Land Ark has been in the making since 2010 when we began sketching out ideas for mobile houses on Southwest Airlines napkins while en route from Houston to San Diego. Brian was scheduled to graduate from architecture school the next year and we were absolutely sure of three things: (1) we wanted to move some place beautiful, (2) we wanted to build our own home on wheels, so we could move it where life took us, and (3) we would use the experience and lessons learned to launch a product for like-minded people.
In June of 2011, one month after Brian graduated from architecture school, we leased a warehouse space in Houston, purchased building supplies and began to personally build our prototype. Sometimes, we had the help of gracious friends and family, but mostly we toiled solo at a snail’s pace on weekends and after working hours, learning the ends and outs of constructing a house on wheels.
The labor of love paid off in many ways – it allowed us the flexibility to follow jobs from Austin, TX to Aspen, CO and live in beautiful and vibrant places. Along the way, we’ve lived in Woody in very different climates including hot Texas summers and frigid Colorado winters. We’ve been the guinea pigs for every idea we’ve had – good and bad. We’ve dealt with the consequences when things didn’t work – from storage ideas to plumbing – and have revised the floor plan along the way.
Our home on wheels has been hauled on busy city freeways, country roads and through mountain passes. We’ve experienced living in Woody at super compact RV parks with neighbors four feet away and well-maintained RV parks with space and community amenities. Our time spent living in RV parks was invaluable to understand what designs, floor plans and utilities work best for privacy and functionality.
In 2015, we purchased an off-grid mountain property above Marble, CO that is beautiful and extreme. Woody resides here full-time now…and Woody is the reason we can experience life in this amazing setting. Woody worked great in RV parks and was highly preferable to living in a standard RV, but being surrounded by such natural beauty – and making it accessible – is what Woody was ultimately designed for.
Since 2011, we have been guinea pigs for our own extensive research and development. We understand the importance of design and function in a small space because we’ve actually lived and learned through the whole process. We design based on experience and an appreciation for modern aesthetic and leave the construction to our professional craftsmen.
Brian’s background is in architecture. He graduated from the University of Houston, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture with a degree in both Architecture and Environmental Science & Design. From working at architecture firms in Texas to Aspen, CO to eventually creating his own design firm, Brian embraces the ideology of modern design. He prefers to design without preconceptions. Instead, he looks at each space with fresh thought and function in mind, exploring ways to distill a design to its important elements, its essence.
Joni’s background is in marketing and project management. Graduating from Texas Tech University with a BBA in Business Management, she’s held positions in various industries and loves the ever-changing landscape of marketing and improving efficiency. Having lived in small spaces for years, she embraces a “less is more” approach and collaborates on design to ensure function and form mesh well.