Great websites, films and podcasts



OSOTG_LogoOne step off the grid

If you’re a solar household and haven’t discovered the website One step off the grid yet, then you have a lot to look forward to. This inexhaustible website is a resource for households and businesses, and provides a newsfeed of interesting projects in the ever-expanding world of off-grid and hybrid renewable energy systems. It’s run by the same people behind the reputable renewable energy business site Renew Economy which provides updates for the energy sector, and fearless critiques of government policies in this area. One step off the grid has many of the same journalists and experts writing for it, but is instead day-to-day practical, and provides stories of the lived experience of installing and relying on off-grid systems, from nitty gritty details to new tech releases. If you head to this site, it is highly recommended to sign up to their regular news feed and check out the community forums.

parlour_logo_blk_rev-150pxParlour: Women, equity, architecture

Launched by a team of scholars from the University of Queensland and edited by Justine Clarke from the University of Melbourne, this website boasts fantastic essays and insightful statistics which address the professional and personal concerns female architects face. Read the full review >


Have you broken the headphone jack on your iPhone? Do you want to know how to change the oil in your car? Is your sewing machine playing up? Do you have a broken appliance that’s too good to throw in the bin? iFixit might have the information you need to fix it yourself. This free, online repair guide provides detailed and clear instructions for repairing all manner of broken things. With a range of repair guides on offer, an answers forum, a parts and tools store, reviews and news, this is an extremely practical website which will help you develop new skills, save money and potentially help you lessen your ecological footprint.

new-junk-map-logo-150pxThe Junkmap

Are you looking to find shops, designers, salvage yards or inspiration? The Junk Map is a website which helps you find Australian businesses that sell used, recycled or upcycled goods for the home. The website is a valuable resource for sourcing recycled building materials such as timber and bricks, or salvaged architectural features like heritage windows. Read the full review >


Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are free online courses and a large number of leading universities, such as Harvard and the University of California, make MOOCs available to anyone. Coursera, one of the leading MOOC websites, offers many courses that would pique the Sanctuary reader’s interest. Read the full review >



a_simpler_way-150pxA Simpler Way: Crisis as opportunity
Produced by Jordan Osmond and Samuel Alexander, 2016

Samuel Alexander is the founder of The Simplicity Institute, an educational and research group focused on fostering a simpler way of life. In October 2014, Samuel put a call out for people interested in taking part in a 12-month living experiment called The Simpler Way Project, to explore simpler ways to live in response to environmental, cultural and economic crises. A small community formed which put the ideas of voluntary simplicity, permaculture and natural building into practice. A Simpler Way: Crisis as opportunity is a film that documents the process and takes in the broader cultural conversation about actions such as downsizing, working less, growing your own food and building community. The documentary has much to interest Sanctuary readers, in particular the one-week construction of a tiny house from up-cycled iron and timber, construction of vegie beds, and the practices of composting and low energy consumption.



urbanist-150pxThe Urbanist
Hosted by Andrew Tuck / Produced by Monocle

The Urbanist is a weekly podcast about what makes cities work or fail. With many archived episodes, and easy streaming straight from the website, this is a great resource, featuring architects and designers from all over the world. Read the full review >

99_per_cent_invisible-150px99% Invisible
Produced by Roman Mars

99% Invisible is a podcast that began as a joint project between a public radio station and the American Institute of Architects. Early on, it had a design and architecture focus, but now, more than 200 episodes in, the podcast spans the genres of infrastructure, cities, objects, sounds, visuals, technology and history. With immaculate production, this is great radio to listen to while you re-tile the bathroom or weed the vegie patch. Subscribe to this podcast via iTunes or your favourite podcast player.