top of page

Hand Sculpted
House of Biomaterials

An Exhibition of circular materials in the shape of a community-built hand-sculpted house.

Year

2023

Category

Biobased Construction

Type of Work

Design
Demonstrator Buildin

Research

Hands-on Construction

Cob House

Excessive use of industrialized building materials continues to push society toward an ecological crisis. At the same time, we are witnessing technological advancements in the new materials economy globally.

 

However, the lack of awareness, collaborative platforms, and resources in India inhibit the innovation and acceptance of these materials.

 

House of Biomaterials is a demonstrator building showcasing an eclectic mix of products, installations, and projects made using a diverse range of circular building materials to set a precedent for how designers can build responsibly and use our power for good by shifting to a circular and regenerative design approach from a linear economy.

The idea is to curate, develop and showcase projects by circular designers and handicraft artisans created using agricultural waste and plant-based materials. For example, lampshades and chairs of straw+mycelium, products made using pine needles, lantana weed, cane, baskets of straw, seaweed, river grass, corn, etc.

The goal is to reinstall the belief in vernacular building techniques, materials, and practices, sensitize how we can build dwellings for our needs and not our greed, buy furniture from secondary markets, and do our interiors using sustainable products.

The higher goal is to shape consumer culture by promoting alternate circular solutions. The societal perception of building materials often associates vernacular materials such as mud, stone, and bamboo with poverty. However, we aim to challenge this notion and promote the use of materials that are inclusive, democratic, and foster community engagement.

 

The goal is to reinstall the belief in vernacular building techniques, materials, and practices, sensitize how we can build dwellings for our needs and not our greed, buy furniture from secondary markets, and do our interiors using sustainable products.

The fairy-tale house is hand-sculpted with our labor of love and the help of volunteers and locals. The construction is in progress and made using cob, a mix of clay soil and straw stomped with feet.

Inspired by the birds, bees, and termites,
we wanted to create something sacred with our hands.

The fairy-tale house is hand-sculpted with our labor of love and the help of volunteers and locals.

The construction is in progress and made using cob, a mix of clay soil and straw stomped with feet.

The cob is fireproof and resistant to seismic activity, making it a suitable building material for the seismically active and fire-prone state of Uttarakhand. 

 

Since the economy is tourist and agriculture-based, the aim is to promote eco-conscious tourism and influence policy development to create sustainable homestays and products using local materials in the hilly state of Uttarakhand. 

 

The space will host curated workshops, open farms, movie screenings, and talks to reform our values and attitudes on circular living and mental well-being. For example, Natural Building, Zerowaste cooking, Mycelium Packaging, Making plates with leaves, permaculture, forest therapies, bio enzymes, material workshops with straw, etc. 

90% of Materials(Stone, clay soil) have been sourced sustainably within 100 meters of the site.

We have built dry stone foundations, cob walls and installed the reciprocal frame.

 

Now, aim to complete the living roof, install services, plaster interiors, and finish flooring.