Mud Works! Hands-on Workshop on Earthen Structures

On June 2019 Anna Heringer and Martin Rauch have leaded for 10 days a hands-on design workshop with a group of students from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

"Contemporary innovations in the design and construction of buildings and environments predominantly follow a specific pattern: industrialized and imported materials are utilized to make high-tech products to exist in the midst of the vernacular world. However, many of these processes do not typically incorporate local traditions, microeconomies, or the potentials of nurturing vernacular know-how. The ethos of this workshop is built on the premise that building with natural materials maximizes the potentials of freely available resources and creates employment opportunities for members of a local community. As a result, investments in the built environment generate returns in both environmental and social capital. This is what we call architecture for development. We envision earthen architecture to be a viable alternative. An inherently sustainable material, earthen construction has a long history of sustaining homes and livelihoods in the most dramatic geographical, climatic, and economic conditions. However, the extant proverbial image of "mud hut" continues to challenge a wider perception of building with earth. Our explorations will explore both technical and aesthetic qualities of earthen construction."

www.gsd.harvard.edu
Workshop location: Schlins (Vorarlberg), Austria