Down and Dirty

The article Down and Dirty from the New York Times, discusses the growing populatiry of earthen floors. (subscription required)

Early one Saturday morning in January, Kevin Rowell dumped a bucket of dark mud on the floor of his big south-facing bedroom. It landed with a plop, spreading out and merging with a blanket of wet earth that already extended across much of the room. On his knees, Mr. Rowell took a trowel to the pile, nudging it this way and that until the mud was roughly level and about an inch and a half deep.

Adobe USA 2007

The 4th Adobe Conference of the Adobe Association of the Southwest: AdobeUSA 2007 will take place May 18, 19, 20 and 22, 2007 in El Rito, New Mexico on the campus of co-sponsor Northern New Mexico Community College in Cutting Hall Auditorium. It adjoins the two-story South Dorm and Cafeteria forming a stately adobe complex.

Information on the Association and the previous conferences can be found at:

Call for Papers Schedule:

December 15, 2006: Abstracts due. One page, 8-1/2 x11, maximum
January 5, 2007: Notification of acceptance
February 23, 2007: Full paper due. (7-page maximum including graphics)

Presenters will have 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes to answer questions. Time limits will be carefully monitored. The host institution can handle 2×2 slides in Carousels, digital presentation files, DVD, VHS and overheads.

Submit abstracts to:
Quentin Wilson, Speakers Committee
PO Box 426, El Rito, NM 87530
505-581-4130 fax
or as an attachment in .txt, .doc (msword) or .pdf format or email body or printed on paper.

Final papers for publication consideration must be in .pdf or .doc formats. Conference Languages: English and Spanish

Topics of special interest are:

Affordable adobe construction
Thermal properties of earthen materials
Physical properties of earthen materials including seismic considerations
Historical buildings of note
Historical builders, developers, architects or designers worldwide
New projects: architecture, adobe art and design
Adobe education
Manufacture and supply of adobe and related construction materials

Land Art/Earth Architecture


Architects Keith Zawistowski and Marie Richard, alumni of Rural Studio, recently built two rammed earth walls as a land art installation in the New Mexico desert. For this project, they collaborated with CRATerre to reaserch traditional earth building techniques and developed a slip form system for rammed earth, which eliminated form tie holes and can be handled by only two people. Using this system and earth mined from the site they constructed 220 foot long walls.