Vernacular Eco-architecture Workshop (15-29 Oct 2015 @Dharmalaya)

What: Intensive Service-Learning Workshop in the Vernacular Eco-architecture of the Himalayas
Activities: Hands-on training in earthen architecture
When: 15-29 October 2015 (must attend from the start)
WhereDharmalaya Institute, Bir (Ghornala)
Languages: English (with Hindi translation if requested)
Facilitators: Dharmalaya faculty and artisans, e.g. Mark Moore, et al.

DharmalayaDescription: Residential service-learning programme at the Dharmalaya Institute with hands-on training in earthen building and more. Learn to build eco-friendly structures in the neo-traditional Kangra style of esteemed eco-architect Didi Contractor, while contemplating our relationship with nature and the values of sustainable and compassionate living.

› What is Vernacular Eco-Architecture? See this page for an introduction.

After the introductions, orientation, and general overview of the programme, we will get straight to work doing various hands-on projects around the Dharmalaya campus, including work on several earthen structures that are in various stages of construction. The two main focal points during this programme will be raising the walls of a new earthen structure while doing some finishing work on another. The work will include adobe and other earthen techniques, and may also include stone, bamboo and slate, as well as mud plaster, landscape architecture, and possibly other activities. We will also have theory discussions and other presentations and explorations. If circumstances allow, we may also have a small participatory design process (depending on the needs on site at the time).

For information and registration, see dharmalaya.in/events/2015/3/29/vernacular-eco-architecture-workshop-15-29-oct-2015.html

Volunteer Work Period for Sustainable Living (16 Jul – 13 Oct @ Dharmalaya)

What:  Volunteer service work opportunities
Activities: Earthen building (primarily interior work), organic gardening, and tree planting
When: 16 July – 13 October 2015 (Volunteers may arrive and depart anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of one week)
WhereDharmalaya Institute, Bir (Ghornala)
Languages: English & Hindi

 Description: Volunteer opportunities at the Dharmalaya Institute, open to both residential and non-residential participants (though, during the monsoon, we highly recommend staying on the Dharmalaya campus). During this period, volunteers have the opportunity to learn the arts and methods of sustainable living in the Himalayas by doing physical work related to earthen building and organic gardening.

Due to frequent rains in the monsoon period, most of the work will happen indoors. This usually includes:

  • Various aspects of traditional earthen building (e.g. interior mud plasters, tile work, wood/bamboo work, and fine finishing work)
  • Organic gardening and natural landscaping (as weather permits)
  • Possibly some tree planting

Dharmalaya is a beautiful place to get your hands dirty and learn about sustainable living and Himalayan culture in the process.

For more information see dharmalaya.in/events/2015/3/28/monsoon-volunteer-work-period-16-jul-13-oct.html

 

Earthen Building Workshop (22-27 June @ Dharmalaya)

DharmalayaWhat: Intensive service-learning workshop
Topic: Earthen building methods & techniques
WhereDharmalaya Institute in Bir, HP, India
When: 22-27 June 2015 (must attend from the beginning)
Language: English (with Hindi translation if needed)
Facilitators: Mark Moore, Sidney Rosario, et al.

Description: Week-long, residential service-learning programme at the Dharmalaya Institute providing hands-on training in traditional, eco-friendly earthen building techniques of the Himalayas. Learn by doing, in the real-world context of helping to build a few new structures on the Dharmalaya campus. Activities will depend on the needs on site (and the weather), but are likely to include earthen renders (mud plasters), foundations and plinth, stonework, and possibly other methods and techniques of earthen building.

› What is Vernacular Eco-Architecture? See this page for an introduction.

After introductions, orientation, and general overview of the programme, we will get straight to work doing various hands-on projects around the Dharmalaya campus, including work on several earthen structures that are in various stages of construction. The main focus during this programme will be on plastering and weatherproofing our newest buildings so they will be protected from the rains. The work might include mud plasters, foundation work, stonework, and possibly other techniques. We may do some water flow management as well, in preparation for the coming rainy season.

Workshops and groups sessions may include the following (depending on weather and the needs of the site):

  • Hands-on education in traditional earthen building methods of the Himalayas
    • Earthen renders (mud plasters)
    • Foundation and plinth work
    • Other natural building materials and methods (e.g. stone, bamboo, wood, etc.)
  • Natural landscaping and water management

What to expect:

  • Practical, hands-on training focus (no theory classes in this workshop).
  • Opportunities to learn traditional methods by working alongside village artisans.
  • You will be working with your hands and body for approximately six hours per day on most days of the programme, so it is recommended to be in reasonably good physical fitness when you arrive, and to bring work clothes.
  • Beautiful, rustic, village setting with a simple lifestyle.

For more information see dharmalaya.in/events/2015/3/25/earthen-building-workshop-22-27-jun-2015.html

Open Volunteer Period for Sustainable Living (10-30 May @ Dharmalaya)

What: Informal, minimally-structured volunteer opportunities
Activities: Earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping
When: 10-30 May 2015 (Volunteers may arrive and depart anytime during this period, with a minimum stay of one week)
WhereDharmalaya Institute, Bir (Ghornala)
Languages: English & Hindi
Who: No formal facilitation, but as-needed guidance from Dharmalaya staff and artisans, e.g. Sidney Rosario, Raj Kumar (‘Raju’), et al.

 Description: Informal volunteer opportunities at the Dharmalaya Institute open to both residential and non-residential participants. During this period, there is no structured educational or training programme as such, but there is plenty of physical work to do — including earthen building (adobe, bamboo, etc.), organic gardening, natural landscaping and possibly some tree planting — and Dharmalaya is a beautiful place to get your hands dirty and learn about green living and Himalayan culture in the process.

For more information see dharmalaya.in/events/2015/3/1/open-volunteer-period-10-30-may-2015.html

 

Sustainable Living in the Himalayas — A Service-Learning Retreat (1-8 May @ Dharmalaya Institute)

What: Sustainable Living in the Himalayas — A Service-Learning Retreat
When: 1-8 May 2015
WhereDharmalaya Institute, Bir (Ghornala Village)
Who: Mark Moore, Sourabh Phadke, et al.

Raising the roofA week-long mindful adventure in sustainable and compassionate living, providing opportunities for exploration of both inner and outer sustainability. We will practice meditation not only sitting on the cushion but also in action, performing mindful service work doing organic gardening, eco-friendly earthen construction, and natural landscaping around the beautiful Dharmalaya campus.

Groups sessions may include the following:

  • Sitting meditation (instruction and practice)
  • Explorations of various aspects of sustainable and compassionate living
  • Conscious movement: Hatha yoga and/or chi kung (morning/evening sessions)
  • Hands-on workshops in traditional earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping

Space is limited, so advance registration is required. For information and registration, use this form.

Open Volunteer Period for Sustainable Living (15-29 April @ Dharmalaya Institute)

What: Informal, minimally-structured volunteer opportunities
Activities: Earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping
When: 15-29 April 2015 (Volunteers may arrive and depart anytime during this period)
Where: Dharmalaya Institute, Bir (Ghornala)
Languages: English & Hindi
Who: Facilitated by Mark Moore, Raj Kumar (‘Raju’), Naresh Kumar Sharma, et al.

Raising the roofDescription: Informal volunteer opportunities at the Dharmalaya Institute open to both residential and non-residential participants. During this period, there is no structured educational or training programme as such, but there is plenty of physical work to do — including earthen building (adobe, bamboo, etc.), organic gardening, natural landscaping and possibly some tree planting — and Dharmalaya is a beautiful place to get your hands dirty and learn about green living and Himalayan culture in the process.

For more information see Dharmalaya’s volunteer page, read the FAQ, and then complete the volunteer application if you’re interesting in joining.

A Renaissance of Vernacular Eco-Architecture

DharmalayaBir (HP) — India is playing host to the birth of a renaissance of vernacular eco-architecture. Hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds are awakening to both the urgent socio-ecological crises of our time and the potential for us to find solutions in India’s own rural traditions.

Case in point: To preserve and advance the distinctive and beautiful forms of traditional earthen architecture of the Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, the Dharmalaya Institute, in partnership with esteemed vernacular architect Didi Contractor, established a formal, academically-supervised Internship in Vernacular Eco-Architecture in May 2013.

Not quite two years later, the Dharmalaya Institute has grown to become one of the most popular vernacular architecture training centres in India and South Asia. Though it has not yet even completed the construction of its campus, it has already attracted scores of architects and civil engineers from across India, Europe, the Americas, and Australia, most of whom learned of the institute either through the recommendations of their architecture professors or by word of mouth spreading far and wide among the green-minded designers and builders of India and beyond.

› Read the rest of the story here

Open Volunteer Period at Dharmalaya Institute (8 Dec – 6 Mar)

What: Informal, minimally-structured volunteer opportunities

Activities: Earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping

When: 8 December 2014 through 6 March 2015 (Volunteers may arrive and depart anytime during this period)

Where: Dharmalaya Institute

Languages: English & Hindi

Facilitators: Various (Raju, Shekar, Sourabh, et al.)

Raising the roofDescription: Informal volunteer opportunities at the Dharmalaya Institute open to both residential and non-residential participants. During this period, there is no structured educational or training programme as such, but there is plenty of physical work to do — including earthen building (adobe, bamboo, etc.), organic gardening, natural landscaping and possibly some tree planting — and Dharmalaya is a beautiful place to get your hands dirty and learn about green living and Himalayan culture in the process.

Since there is no formal instruction during this period and there is no organised programme, one simply jumps in and does whatever needs doing on a given day, learning by watching others and then doing it yourself. In such an unstructured or loosely guided situation, sometimes one needs to ask for help if one needs it, so a certain degree of self-motivation and initiative makes for the best experience. It also helps to bring a healthy sense of flexibility, since the work to be done might vary from one day to the next, depending on circumstances. If that appeals to you, you’re welcome to come and go anytime during this period.

For more information see Dharmalaya’s volunteer page, read the FAQ, and then complete the volunteer application if you’re interesting in volunteering.

Sustainable Living Retreat (26 Nov – 6 Dec @ Dharmalaya)

2012 work retreat

What: Residential Retreat and Service-Learning Workshop
Topic: Sustainable Living in the Himalayas
Where: Dharmalaya Institute in HP, India
When: 26 November – 6 December 2014
Language: English (and Hindi if requested)
Facilitators: Mark Moore, Sourabh Phadke, et al.

Description: A ten-day inner/outer adventure in sustainable and compassionate living, providing opportunities for hands-on learning of various skills and concepts related to traditional earthen building, organic gardening, and natural landscaping, integrated with mindfulness, meditation and other inner explorations.

Workshops and groups sessions may include the following:

  • Hands-on education in traditional earthen architecture of the Himalayas
  • Natural landscaping and organic gardening
  • Meditation and yoga/chi kung (morning/evening sessions)

Cost: Rs 1200 per day (Rs 12,000 total) including comfortable tent/dormitory accommodation and healthy meals.

Information & Registration
For details and registration, visit the Dharmalaya Institute’s website.