To take an idea, no matter how whimsical or farfetched and to actually make it physical, make it whole, is the most creative act known to humankind. Yes, we build tract homes and outlet malls, but at its heart, building is a personal thing, borne from individual experience and obsession. Since the dawn of civilization, people have built things with meaning, from the humble and the mundane to the grand and sprawling.

The people featured in these Dark Rye videos have built meaningful things. Chris Stuart of Indianapolis combines his experience as a corporate product designer and his artistic background to build idiosyncratic furniture that manages to be simultaneously quirky and functional. Joel Allen of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, built a beautiful tree loft out of raw materials and raw imagination. Mark Frauenfelder draws inspiration from his daughters to build objects from skateboards to “sandwich guitars.” And the McClung family of Mesa, Arizona, built a working aquaculture farm in their backyard’s empty swimming pool.

Building can be practical and functional. It can also serve a purely decorative purpose. Either way, you make your mark. Something exists on Earth to say that you were here. That you represented something specific. That you were a builder.

Watch The Videos


Chris Stuart

In Indiana, former industrial designer Chris Stuart crafts incredible artistic furniture. Continue


The Hemloft

Joel Allen builds an idiosyncratic domed structure in the mountains of British Columbia. Continue



Mark Frauenfelder and his daughters do cool projects together in the Los Angeles suburbs. Continue


Garden Pool

A family in Mesa, Arizona, transforms a backyard pool into a sustainable aquaculture farm. Continue

PBS-Food-Dark-Rye-footer-logoDark Rye is an online magazine from Whole Foods Market that explores the realms of food, health, sustainability, design, technology and social enterprise. Get fresh insight from our mixtape of stories, recipes, creative projects and people.