(un)Folding the Fantastic


Thanks for stopping by. We are delighted to welcome you and share our newest adventure. We’ve planned another epic exploration! But first, we’d like to introduce ourselves.

We are Gregory Crawford & Maina Petry, a couple of curious, instigative, supportive, radical, creative, eccentric, passionate, smile-full, super curious friends. And adventure is no stranger to us. We’ve successfully completed two similar trips in the past:

–– in 2010, we journeyed from The Netherlands –across Europe– to Turkey, researching the concept and application of autonomy, self-direction, resilience, & collaborative design. We looked into squats and other non-conventional housing/living arrangements; urban farms and other food-related projects; historical-contextual relationships like post-Yugoslavia, European/Asian Istanbul, & the forests of Belgium; and a secret temple-complex in the mountains of western Italy called Damanhur. We managed to carry only a small backpack (the kind kids take to school, not the kind tourists take to Thailand), hitchhike most of that great distance, and enjoy/rely upon the hospitality networks of Couchsurfing, Hospitality Club, and marvelous gypsies.

–– in 2011, we journeyed the east-coast and rust-belt of these United States, studying spatial reclamation and the creative revival of post-industrial spaces (such as Plant Chicago, Chicago; Transformazium, Braddock, PA; The Boggs Center, Detroit), as well as biopyschosical remediation, food-justice, food deserts and swamps, seed security, permaculture systems, community building, collaborative/functional/user-based design, re-skilling/skill-sharing, hackerspaces, & social engineering. Phew!

And now… we are taking another step forward. For the first time, we will be using folding-bicycles as our main-mode of transportation!

We want to experiment with the human-scale, encouraging our bodies and minds to reconnect with the natural environment –– feeling and accepting its size, shape, and embracing the excitement of the process and the great unknown. To us, our world often feels very fragmented, as we tend to skip the process to achieve the end-goals; driving in a car, or riding in a bus, or flying in an airplane tends to abstract our relationship to, and understanding of, the natural environment. We want to see where our bodies can power us to!

We are riding bicycles because they are a strategy; a strategy for a changing world – and the folding-bicycle is doubly so. Being so versatile, the folding-bicycle is intrinsically cross-compatible with other forms of transportation and deserving of a central role in how human beings get around.

Furthermore, the folding-bicycle represents our own flexibility to navigate the world. We like to think we can adjust ourselves in a similar way, to adjust to the changes we face.

And another step forward: we will sail a boat for the very first time! It’s something we’ve always wanted to do, and this sailing trip is no ordinary sailing trip! We have the opportunity to retrace perhaps the most famous and unprecedented sailing voyages in history: the very first solo-circumnavigation by Joshua Slocum and the Spray, which was completed over a hundred years ago.

On the sailboat, we are going to experiment with nature-powered, human-directed transportation. Our bikes will accompany us, whisking us around every port-city we dock. What a perfect combination!

But what are we doing with the folding-bicycles?

We are documenting abandoned buildings. We believe that these spaces contain a great potential… as if they are simply in hibernation; and we want to work towards rescuing them, eventually enabling everyone to reinvent these lost-spaces.   

Bon Voyage to (un)folding the fantastic!

One thought on “Welcome!

  1. steve yaws on said:

    love it brother.. folding bicycles thats awesome…id like to do that also someday..
    id like to hear how it turns out for you two..
    definitely sounds like you two have been busy learning allot…
    hit me up if your ever in bakersfield or hanford you always got a place to stay
    id love to hang out or travel with you sometime… take care

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