Discovering the work of Satprem Maïni and Auroville Earth Institute in the Indian Himalayas since 2004. The focus of this talk will be on the region of Spiti and the Kaza Eco Community Centre.

Satprem Maïni is the director, executive and soul of the Auroville Earth Institute. He works as an architect and builder, consultant, researcher, trainer and lecturer. He studied in France and holds a master’s degree in architecture and a postgraduate master’s degree in Earthen Architecture from CRAterre. Since 2000, he has been the representative for Asia of the UNESCO Chair “Earthen Architecture, Constructive Cultures and Sustainable Development”. 

He has built more than 30 projects in India, 3 projects abroad and has produced more than 22 publications. Among others, Auroville Earth Institute has built the Eco Centre in Kaza, Spiti, India. Built with vernacular rammed earth technique and compressed stabilized earth blocks, the community centre forms a bridge between traditional architecture and modern innovation appropriate to the context in the high Himalayas.

Under his leadership, the Earth Institute has won 11 national and 2 international awards, has educated several generations of young architects in India and abroad, and has become one of the global centers for excellence in earthen construction and research.

The Tabo thesis class is working together with the Serkong School in Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India, to build a foundation for a long-term partnership to enhance and possibly extend the school’s campus. Working with pupils, teachers and other actors, the group focuses on the challenges and chances of international collaborations, while also exploring the local landscape, building tradition, buddhist culture and much more.

Moderation: NBL Bachelorthesis Klasse TABO

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With: Jonas Haala, Katerina Tzouvala, Merlin Ehlers, Niko Hoeck, Sarra Abid