Why should you sign up for a Natural Building Workshop?

Joining a Natural Building Workshop offers an entirely different perspective on architecture than typically found in most architectural or engineering colleges. Universities cover an immense amount of content throughout the duration of a Bachelor and Masters Degree.  One of the greatest challenges faced by students though, is practical hands on construction experience on live sites. That however, is not the only reason why you should consider signing up for a natural building workshop. We have come up with a list of 8 reasons that might just convince you to sign up! 



1. Understanding of Materials

Natural materials sourced onsite are the most sustainable materials available to us. 

Understanding how local materials can be incorporated into your designs is the first step you can take towards reducing the ecological footprint of your projects. Even if natural materials are not available on your site incorporating them in your projects can lead to other ecological and health benefits. Such as improved air quality in your indoor spaces through the use of natural, breathable earthen or lime plasters or better temperature regulation requiring less mechanical thermal intervention.


Cob construction nicheThappi Plaster Preparation


2. Hands on Experience

Learning by doing enables you to put your theoretical knowledge to the test. Designing on paper is a world away from building on the ground. The very process of construction brings to light aspects of design not necessarily considered on paper. It helps you transform the theoretical knowledge into experiential wisdom. 

Hands on Natural BuildingYoung woman planing wood


3.Construction Site Experience

Some of he best natural building workshops offer an opportunity to be part of a live building site. Throughout the duration of the workshop you will participate in certain aspects of construction. It could be from the foundation through to the roof with an introductory workshop, or you may get a chance to focus on a specialised aspect of construction. Perhaps an Earthen Flooring or plasters workshop, Lime Plaster Workshop, Lime Water Tank Workshop, or a regionally focused workshop, such as our Spiti Valley Workshops that allow you to learn all about the vernacular architecture of a specific region.

Earthen plastering during natural building workshop Morocco


4.Exposure to a Different Design Aesthetic

Natural builders often take design inspiration from the natural world around them. The patterns in nature serve as inspiration for many in their designs. Earthen materials lend themselves well to curvaceous elements. Built in furniture and niches are common.  Most often it is the creative detail inherent in hand crafted natural homes that results in such charming spaces. Joining a natural building workshop will encourage you to think outside the box with your designs too. 


Cob Cottage OreganNatural Building Workshop cob cottage


5.Appreciation for Construction Teams

Practical site experience can help you understand your construction teams better. Site managers who have in depth knowledge of on site procedures make better site managers. 

Understanding the challenges faced by your construction team can help you better plan your future construction sites avoiding costly delays onsite or misunderstandings when it comes to implementation of your designs. 


Timber Tie Beam Spiti Valley


6.Experience an Alternative Process of Design

If you attend a vernacular architecture workshop you will have a chance to work alongside traditional Master Craftspersons. If you are fortunate enough to interact with elder Master Craftspersons you will have a chance to witness how architecture was achieved historically without architects. Design carried out in situ using simple locally available tools, no Laptop or expensive software required. Some of the most beautiful architectural aesthetics are achieved by the women of the world in places like Tiebele in Burkina Faso or in Hazaribagh India, who ornament their homes with stunning all natural murals. Joining a natural Art Workshop may just open up a whole new world of inspiration for your interior decoration projects. 


Sohrai Geometric Mural JharkhandSohrai Painting Jharkhand



7.Bio-Climatic Design

If you do find a natural building workshop teaching about regionally specific vernacular architecture traditions, you will learn all about Bio-Climatic design. Traditional architecture across the globe, out of necessity built with the local climatic context in mind. Adapting locally abundant materials to designs that provide the greatest thermal comfort. Learning to incorporate this design thought process has immense potential to increase the sustainability of your future designs.


North Korean Vernacular ArchitectureAshanti Courtyard House - Vernacular Architecture of Africa


8.Be Inspired & Make New Friends

You will be surprised. Many of the people who attend Natural building workshops are non-architects. They come from all walks of life. Some looking to build their own homes with their own hands. Others looking to understand how natural building is done before undertaking their own construction projects. While others are just looking to live a more sustainable life, exploring all aspects of holistic living.

Depending on how specialised the workshop is you may find yourself in the company of professional architects and engineers looking to learn more about sustainable construction materials. You may even find your future employer amongst your fellow participants, you wouldn’t be the first. One thing is for sure, you are almost guaranteed to make lifelong friends.  Natural building workshops attract a wonderfully diverse collective of people who come together as strangers and inevitably leave as friends. 


Feeling convinced? See our unique range of upcoming Natural Building & Architectural Workshops