The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist

The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist from The Gaia Foundation & ABN on Vimeo.

A new film, ‘The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist’ tells the story of a seed hero. Dr Debal Deb is a pioneering ecologist committed to working with traditional farmers in eastern India to conserve indigenous seed diversity. Over almost two decades, Debal has managed to save 920 varieties of rice, all of which he stores in community based seed banks in West Bengal and Odisha for farmers. This film follows the construction of a new seed bank premises in Odisha, a venture that provides a potent symbol of Debal’s values.

Afghan Refugee Housing

Rai Studio and Architecture for Humanity Tehran, in collaboration with the Norwegian Refugee Council, have recently completed an adobe construction prototype intended for Afghan refugees living in Kerman, close to the centre of Iran.

Built in an Afghan Refugee Camp in Kerman, Iran, the 100 meter square meter domed shelter is comprised of approximately 6,000 mud bricks.

Pouya Khazaeli, principal of Rai Studio and architecture professor at Azad University, Tehran and Ghazvin, notes: “Social sustainability in design is our main focus area here. It means to study how these refugees live, communicate, the meaning of privacy in their live, which materials they prefer and use for construction, which kind of construction techniques they use themselves, how much they spend normally to construct their own shelters….”

Read more at Domus

Kerpic’13

The third International Conference on kerpic’13 – New Generation Earthen Architecture: Learning from Heritage, to be held on 11-14 September 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey. The focus of the conference has evolved from new generation of earthen architecture, environment and health care, towards disaster prevention. We hope that it will bring together the related disciplines of architects and engineers, on material, construction, marketing and environmental science to create database, technology watch and strategy.

A workshop will be organized on site where all the participants can take part. Social and cultural program will offer an interesting historical tour and a distinguished dinner will welcome you. Post Congress program will be a tour to various sites of Turkey. Fore more information visit http://www.kerpic.org/2013/

Radioactive Earth

These food storage jars were made of radioactive earth from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster area in Japan. They were designed by Royal College of Art graduate student Hilda Hellström who contacted the last person still living inside the evacuation zone, Naoto Matsumura, and collected soil from his rice fields that can’t be farmed due to contamination.


[ More at Dezeen ]

Sra Pou Vocational School

The Sra Pou vocational school in Sra Pou, Oudong, Cambodia by Finish architects Rudanko + Kankkunen is constructed of hand-dried blocks of the surrounding soil. The school serves as a business training centre and public hall.

The soil block walls repeat the warm red shade of the surrounding earth. They are laid out with small holes, so that indirect sunlight and gentle wind come in to cool the spaces – and at night, the school glows like a lantern through these small openings. The whole community space is open, providing comfortable shaded outdoor space. The colorful handicraft doors are visible from far away and welcome visitors coming along the main road.

The 200m2 building cost $15,000 and was constructed by members of the community.

More at dezeen.com

US/China Workshop on Earth Based Materials and Sustainable Structures & Forum on Hakka Rammed Earth Buildings (Tulou)’ 2011

The West Virginia University Constructed Facilities Center, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA and Xiamen University Department of Civil Engineering, Xiamen, Fujian, China, in conjunction with the International Symposium on Innovation & Sustainability of Structures in Civil Engineering (ISISS’2011), is pleased to host the US/China Workshop on Earth Based Materials and Sustainable Structures & Forum on Hakka Rammed Earth Buildings (Tulou)’ 2011. The workshop will take place October 28 -30, 2011 at Xiamen University in Xiamen, China.

Thru the proposed workshop, the organizers would like to bring together researchers from the USA and China along with invited participants from Australia, Canada, Japan and UK to conduct a joint workshop at XMU on research potential of earth based materials and sustainable structures. The objectives of the proposed workshop will be: 1) to exchange success stories and lessons learned from the use of rammed earth as a structural material and construction technique for sustainable structures, including review of current rammed earth construction specifications and standards, 2) to address challenges and strategies for advancing the use of earth based structural materials in modern construction, 3) to establish a network of professionals to catalyze collaborative research, development and implementation including international partnerships, and 4) to develop joint R&D programs with emphasis on utilization of rammed earth material in modern construction by minimizing embodied energy. In addition, the workshop participants will have opportunity to witness the sustainability of World Heritage Hakka (ancient) village in-service and learn a few exemplary lessons potentially leading to modifications in contemporary construction techniques.

For more information on the worshop and forum events visit http://www2.cemr.wvu.edu/~rliang/ihta/forum2011.htm. More information on the International Hakka Tulou Alliance (IHTA) can be found by visiting http://www2.cemr.wvu.edu/~rliang/ihta.htm. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Workshop Organizer: Dr. Ruifeng (Ray) Liang, rliang@mail.wvu.edu, (304) 293 9348