Visit of Satprem Maïni to the UNESCO Chair school of earthen architecture in Korea, December 2013
Satprem Maïni, director of the Auroville Earth Institute (AVEI) was invited from the 19th to 24th Dec. 2013 by Mr Kim Soonwung and Dr. Heyzoo Hwang, from TerraKorea, to attend the inauguration ceremony of the “School of UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture in Korea” and to give a presentation during the International Symposium on Earth Architecture, held on the 21st Dec. after the inauguration ceremony.
Dr. Heyzoo Hwang is the Director of TerraKorea, the “Institute of Earthen Architecture in Korea”, and a lecturer at the “Department of Architecture, Mokpo National University”. He has done extensive research on lime stabilisation for soils and CSEB in particular. Kim Soonwung is a member of TerraKorea and director of the “School of UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture in Korea”. Kim Soonwung and Dr. Heyzoo Hwang are also partners of the UNESCO Chair “Earth Architecture, Constructive Cultures and Sustainable Development”.
Kim started the “School of UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture in Korea” in Wanju Jeonbuk in the spring of 2013 by conducting classes to adults of various skills who were interested to learn how to build with earth, either to build their homes one day or to have more knowledge about this wonderful building material. Kim and his team conducted monthly classes from May 2013 on various earth techniques, such as adobe, cob, compressed earth blocks, poured earth, rammed earth, plasters, etc.
The ceremony on the 21st Dec. began by presenting the diplomas to the first six students who followed all the modules given at the school and who built a small demonstration building at their premises in Wanju Jeonbuk. Kim Soonwung, Dr. Heyzoo Hwang and Satprem gave short speeches to introduce the event and they presented the diplomas to these students. Hubert Guillaud, founding member of CRATerre and Chairman of the UNESCO Chair Earth Architecture sent a video to deliver a speech and to congratulate the students.
It was a wonderful event attended by the families and friends of students as well as professionals and officials from the township. These six students were all adults above 40 years old and they were from different backgrounds, such as farmers, journalists, lay people. It was amazing to see how these people learned a new skill and were so proud of it. They had been very enthusiastic during their studies. Kim and his team did wonderful work during this first year of the school and they laid very good and promising bases for the future of this School of UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture in Korea.
After the presentation of diplomas, Satprem started the International Symposium on Earth Architecture by presenting the work of the Auroville Earth Institute, including the various fields of research and activities, the education conducted at Auroville and the development project of the AVEI School of Earth Architecture which will be built in Auroville in the coming years. About 120 students and professional enjoyed this two hour presentation. Dr. Heyzoo Hwang presented the research and practice of earthen architecture in Korea.
During this event, Satprem and Dr. Heyzoo Hwang signed a MoU between the Auroville Earth Institute and TerraKorea, which intend to promote learning, academic exchange and cooperation based on the following points:
– Mutual exchange of educational materials and research on Earth architecture.
– Conducting scientific councils and seminars on Earth architecture, and supporting mutual friendly visits of each field specialist.
– Exchange of skilled manpower and education for advanced technology in Earth architecture.
– Other exchanges related to Earth architecture.
As a first exchange within the framework of this MoU, Satprem gave about 110 GB of data on earth architecture that he has collected over the years,
which included photos on earth architecture in the world and in Auroville, research papers, standards, publications by AVEI and other authors, videos, etc. TerraKorea and gave in return about 20 GB of data on their work.
Satprem Maini, Auroville Earthen Institute