The Second International Conference on Gross National Happiness
Local Pathways to Global Wellbeing
St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
June 20 to June 24, 2005
|Rethinking Building - Naturally - with Youth|
Low impact, affordable building strategies were given considerable attention at the Rethinking Development conference. In addition to a workshop with presenters Linda Zhu from China, Nawab Ali Khan from Pakistan, and Kim Thompson from Nova Scotia, a hands-on project was created to "demonstrate local pathways to global well-being". The construction of a traditional Acadian bread oven, and shelter modeled systems and materials which hold much promise for addressing issues surrounding the built environment globally.
The project began several days before delegates arrived with a group of youth who were attending a pre-conference camp, local volunteers, and Thompson, an experienced natural builder. Using materials from the Antigonish area, hand tools, and with much ingenuity, this was a project that immediately began to show what incredible things can be done using the resources that are around us.
The structure was designed to serve a variety of purposes, and make connections throughout the conference including:
From June 17th, til June 23rd there was a constant flow of people around the natural building and yurt site. Whether they were directly taking part in construction, or stopping by to see what was going on, the energy of all helped created a beautiful, functional art piece.
The earth oven took the form of a cat fish, under a living roof planted with a colourful array of plants. The walls demonstrated plastered straw bale construction, wattle and daub, and cob techniques, while the foundation showed what could be done with tires, earth bags and urbanite — just some of the natural building options available that can work in our harsh Maritime weather.
In the last days of the conference detailed relief work emerged on the walls, embellished with glass and tiles, capturing the spirit of the conference, and the care and passion of those participating.
The structure and oven now live at Pleasant Valley Nursery, Antigonish where they will be used for community bread and bake projects. For details on how to visit there call: 902-863-1072.
For more information on the project contact:
web site: www.naturalbuilding.ca (after August 1/05)
Special thanks go to the following businesses and individuals for making the Natural Build/Youth Project a success:
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