Earthen Buildings & Jon Jandai

I have this sort of funny potential opportunity.  I has to do with a piece of land, a generous architect, and a farmers market – but that is all I will say about it for now.  But this opportunity has me thinking about buildings that communities or even individuals can build for little in the way of time and physical resources.

Coincidentally, a friend posted a link on Facebook about Jon Jandai.  This is his thing:

Before I thought that stupid people like me … cannot have a house… because people who are cleverer than me and get a job need to work for 30 years to have a house. But for me, who cannot finish university, how can I have a house. It’s hopeless for people who have low education like me. But when I start to do earthen buildings, it’s so easy! I spent two hours per day… and in 3 months I have a house. A friend who was the most clever in the class he has a house too but he has to be in debt for 30 years, so compared to him I have 29 years and 10 months of free time. I feel life is so easy.

Jon runs Pun Pun an organic farm (in Thailand), seed-saving operation, and sustainable living and learning center. At Pun Pun they use ancient natural building techniques with readily available, local, natural materials with little embodied energy and salvaged materials to make homes, a practical and affordable alternative to resource intensive conventional building.

One thought leads to another and now I am all hopped up on cool images of earthen buildings; thinking that I can perhaps brooch this subject with the generous architect for the potential project, but at the very least, I can research this for the basis of some garden construction that I would like to do around here (namely of the glasshouse variety).

Check all these out and then try not to be similarly intrigued.

Images from a Gallery of American Natural Homes and even more from Natural Homes.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

1 Comment

  1. Lisa Gray on December 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I love these houses.

    You should also check out the gorgeous, strange houses that Dan Phillips — a dancer/artist/builder in Huntsville, TX — makes almost entirely out of recycled materials:

    His web site includes great DIY instructions.

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