Corey Crawford uses principles of Frank Lloyd Wright’s teachings in building personal outdoor dwelling systems.

Outside one of Crawford’s personal outdoor dwelling systems.

Corey Crawford’s business, Personal Outdoor Dwelling Systems LLC, started out as a favor to a friend.

“My best friend and I were sitting in her back yard, looking at this ugly shed that was rotting,” he says. “I told her I could demolish it and build something nicer. She wanted an office, a media room, a place to entertain friends and family, a place to meditate, a place for her daughter to watch movies as loud as she wanted and a place that could be used for sleepovers. This was a lot to accomplish in 128 square feet.”

The intitial personal outdoor dwelling system, and his friend’s marketing background, provided the impetus for the new business. “After construction was underway, my friend approached me twice that day saying we should not be greedy, but share these outdoor rooms with others,” says Crawford.

A ‘Sheltered’ Background

Crawford graduated from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and lived in and constructed “shelters” in the desert as part of the school’s “learn-by-doing” apprentice experience. The school’s education provides a foundation for creative, cooperative, independent persons in architecture through active experiential learning. The relationship between resources, various ways of learning and knowledge-based outcomes characterize the curriculum.

“The learn-by-doing was very important to me, since I utilize these experiences every day in design and building,” Crawford says. “I am a firm believer in Mr. Wright’s teachings of ‘Organic Architecture.’ The main principles are ‘Of the Time, Of the Place and Of the Man.’ The clients are also a very important part of the design process.”

Inside one of Crawford’s personal outdoor dwelling systems.

Crawford usually contracts out concrete and other heavy work, but does all of the trim work and other finish work, as well as oversees and designs the structures. He uses sustainable materials whenever possible.

“I am always on the look out to reclaim wood,” he says. “I usually source lumber from local yards that practice their sourcing from sustainable mills. This is very important to us as a company. There is a poetic quality about wood and if used in a quality context by a designer, it will generate a meaningful situation. I feel that celebrating materials is the foundation of a design.”

Crawford says that the things he enjoys most about the business are the process, from sketches on paper to building, and the happiness the clients have with his work. He stresses that the business does not make “cookie cutter” designs and buildings.

“It’s hard to say what we will do next,” he says. “We are not focused on only one thing all the time. We are very fluid in our ideas.”

For more information on Personal Outdoor Dwelling Systems LLC, visit

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