amidst geologic time

Bioconstruction as Community-Building.

Bioconstruction, also known as biological construction or 
bioclimatic architecture, is an approach to building design and 
construction that prioritizes using natural materials and 
incorporating natural elements to create structures that are 
more in harmony with the environment and healthier for 

Building, on two plots of land donated by city of Atacames, 
Ecuador, this new CAEMBA neighborhood of 31 houses offers 
a vision of environmental justice. In collaboration with 
contractors knowledgeable in the building process, volunteers, 
and members of the family who will inhabit these future homes, everyone worked together in the building process. All of it can be done on the scale of the individual, without the need for heavy machinery. The building process is also a learning process, where locals are able to absorb new construction methods that they can apply to other areas of their careers. The houses are light but strong, being made of bamboo. Each house can be customized and changed depending on the tenants desires with a wrench and a hammer, all wall panels can be removed and reoriented, spaces for future doorways are also built into the design. An entire house can be built in a day, also deconstructed and moved. 

To ensure community stability, all tenants agree to a binding five year contract where they must remain as the owners of their home, after which they can opt to move or sell. However, families are highly encouraged to invest into their new homes, a safe space for generations of families to live. There is so much evidence that owning a stable home is one of the first steps in lifting families out of poverty. It allows folks to search for jobs, better healthcare, and gives additional time to other luxuries we often take for granted such as making their opinion heard in public office and other social programs that directly impact their lives. In only a week, an entirely new way of living was designed and implemented; a generation of possibility.

Minga, a Quechua term referring to collective work undertaken for the betterment of a community, is a driving philosophy for this Participatory Design project in asscosiation with Fundacion Raiz.   

→ 2022—2023