The Corny Cabin
The Corny Cabin was designed and built specifically for Nebraska. Something Nebraskans can be proud of.
The project began by asking locals a few questions “what does Nebraska mean to you?”, “what do you find special about Nebraska?” I assumed the majority of the responses would consist of farming and agriculture however, I would regularly hear things about the beauty of the sunsets, unique openness of the landscape, the night sky, simple lifestyle, and traditions, however, to my surprise the one single answer I heard the most was "the people". The sense of community, the desire to always help, and the love and respect people have for each other. 
In 1863 Americans were given the opportunity to move west and get Free land as Part of the Homestead Act. This proved to be a brutal lifestyle and many failed, however, some persisted and found success. The successful relied on the people in their immediate family, community, and nearby farms for information, tools, and strength. Perhaps the helping hand mentality everyone gave and received for decades remains true today. Maybe the best physical example of this is one of the most essential and iconic figures in Nebraska...The Barn. Often considered more important than the home it served many purposes from housing animals and feed (both essential to the farm) to hosting family gatherings and community events. Building a barn was no easy task either, the size, materials, knowledge, and physical labor required help from all people. It was the Barn for these reasons that shape the Corny Cabin.

Me (Eric Engler)
My name is Eric Engler, I'm a designer from Beatrice, Ne. I graduated from Beatrice High School and went to the University of Nebraska Lincoln. I received a master's degree in architecture and wrestled five years under coach Mark Manning. 
After graduating in 2019 I wanted to start a design-build company and over the course of 3 months, I turned an old barn into my woodshop/studio space. What I originally wanted to design and build was a cabin that was inspired by Norway and its Aesthetic. I struggled with the design because there was no real intention behind it, what I liked is what I drew. I could never make up my mind and reflecting back it was because I had little money and I wanted to it be perfect. My mother knew about my love for Nordic design and seeing my frustration with the design I was working on she said "why don't you just go to Norway and see it for yourself." So I did.
I had never traveled alone and I had never been out of the country for more than a week on a service trip so didn't have any idea what to expect. I traveled across Scandinavia camping and looking at buildings. I learned as much about design as I did myself. Towards the end of the trip, I fell in love with a Cypriot/Filipino girl who I'm still dating. However, after 3 months of traveling, I came home with very little money and knew I didn't have enough funds to start a project. I went to work in an architectural office in Omaha and after about only 4 months I knew this wasn't for me so I quit. I packed my backpack to went to Europe to find work and be with my girlfriend. I began looking for a job designing and building. I would just walk into workshops, architectural offices, and studios trying to start a conversation and see what I could learn. On a cold rainy day in The Netherlands I walked to the Wikkelhouse drenched and freezing I found the office, walked in, and said "I am here to talk to someone about the Wikkelhouse". They were confused and surprised but nonetheless, I got a tour of the facility and had a great conversation with the Owner. He offered me a job and I began working two weeks later. It was a great experience and I learned many things but unfortunately after a short time COVID hit and the place had to cut some employees including me. Shortly after I returned home. 
Still, with not enough money to start the original project I built furniture and did other interior work when I could. However, I found out I could receive unemployment benefits during this time. At first, I was against the benefits being that I felt I could find a job however if I accepted the benefits because I knew it would be enough to build the project. So I accepted. 
Although this time I started the design with significantly more knowledge, it wasn't Noway I was after. It was Nebraska. 
My girlfriend studies Fine Arts and throughout our relationship, we've had many good conversations about the relationship between art and architecture. A nice piece of art is nice, but a piece of art that can impact people, tell a story, and puts you into the mind of the artist, now that changes things. Instead of designing and building something I thought was cool, she encouraged me to do something that could tell a story, something that gives the user a piece of me. So I began designing the Corny Cabin. 
. . . . . . . . . . 
After 7 months of working on it every day, I have done as much as I can and now it is time for it to find a home. I was extremely fortunate that I received the unemployment money but I felt the luckiest that whenever I needed a helping hand from a family member, friend, or expert, they were always willing to help. Perhaps the people who I interviewed told me best, it's the people of Nebraska who make this state great. 
It is because of these good people that I want to give the Corny Cabin to a community or organization that is committed to helping Nebraskans. Either people in poverty, people with special needs, veterans, or just locals who find the story interesting. If you or anyone you may know are interested please contact me. 

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