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Hazon Educational Library: Natural Building, Permaculture & Garden Design

From the Earth, Back to the Earth: Natural Building with Cob

by Anika Rice
Urban Adamah
Cob is a structural composite of earth-based materials: clay, sand, straw and water. People all over the world have used cob for centuries to sculpt buildings by hand. Learning to build with earth-based materials can broaden participants' understandings of how the earth provides everything that humans need to live. Mixing cob, making cob bricks, or applying cob directly to a larger structure is an embodied means for empowering participants to make things on their own and to source materials sustainably. This lesson also touches on the importance of place in natural building, with a map exploration about how different cultures build with different things based on their environments.