ShamsArd: With Dirt And A Vision

ShamsArd is a young Palestinian architecture firm that has designed several buildings constructed of dirt that respond to both the environmental climate (keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter), and the political and economic climate. An Israeli company that exports the vast majority of cement used in the occupied Palestinian territories, suddenly stopped the supply for almost a month because of cement shortages in the Israeli market. A few months later, the price of cement sold to the Palestinians also increased, making alternative construction techniques, a beautiful design solution. It also responds to history as Jericho, the location of their most recent design, is home to the oldest earth building traditions in the world. Hear and read more about ShamsArd on National Public Radio and in an Al Jazeera article.

Kibbutz Lotan

Kibbutz Lotan was founded in 1983 in the Arava Desert in Israel, with the discovery of a significant source of groundwater. Lotan sits at a low point in a valley, hundreds of feet above an aquifer. Over the years, Lotan has become known for its example in sustainability, proving that an inspired group of people can create community and habitat in even the harshest of environments, by being resourceful.