“A house is an inanimate structure. A home, on the other hand, is where life happens,” says Doug Pray. “It contains and sustains humanity, and can help shape inspiring lives if it’s inspiring itself. “
Pray is one of the directors and executive producers of the new docuseries Home (created by Matthew Weaver known for Chef’s Table and Jiro Dreams of Sushi) that debuts today exclusively on Apple TV+. The first season features nine episodes that take the viewer to a different corner of the globe such as Sweden, Hong Kong, Mexico, Bali, and India where innovative homeowners have built their dream homes often challenging the status quo whether by defying government regulations or cultural prejudice and, in the process, defining what a home could look like.
The idea behind Home, which took two years in total to research and produce, is, as Pray explains, “to make a series about amazing homes that wasn’t about luxury but focused on big ideas for a small planet. It was about the personal stories of innovative homeowners as much as it was about the homes themselves […]”
Sustainability truly takes center stage here. From spectacular multi-level houses entirely constructed with bamboo (including the furniture) in Indonesia—a material deeply ingrained into Balinese culture but considered not sturdy or sophisticated enough when it comes to housing, to employing local craftspeople in a small town in India trained in centuries-old skills to build a “Wall House,” and building a ranch entirely out of recycled and discarded materials in Malibu—the visionaries behind these projects didn’t have to travel far or source materials from elsewhere to turn their dreams into a reality.
“In each episode, we were portraying homeowners who were innovative about what they had to work with; what was ‘right there' in front of them. They weren’t running away to build a mansion in the mountains or importing outside ideas. They were recommitting to the land, native resources, and the maximum potential of what they could create in a home,” explains Pray.
In the episode filmed in Sweden, for example, a man and his wife turned their log cabin into a Naturhus by building a greenhouse around it while facing extreme weather and raising a son with autism. And in Nacajuca, Mexico, a San Francisco-based organization teams up with a Texas 3D home printing company to “print” houses for a group of low-income families.
“My hope is that viewers will watch these episodes and, rather than thinking ‘I’ll never build a greenhouse over my home,’ or, ‘I can’t move the walls of my apartment like that guy in Hong Kong’ they’ll be inspired by the way each of these innovators solved seemingly insurmountable problems by thinking differently, that they might take some small part of the big idea and apply it to their lives,” Pray adds.
Home is truly a visual masterpiece that is just as much about innovative architecture and design as it is about waking up to the realities of the world we live in, it is about defining what a “home” is, and how, by making adjustments, small and big, to our lives we can have a positive impact on our planet in the long run.
You can now stream “Home” on Apple TV+.