From 2004-2006 we had the chance to be a part of a group that focused on introducing urban communities to alternative building methods in the Atlanta area. The purpose of the group was to train locals, particularly youth in mud brick building using the abundant red clay in their surrounding environment. The idea was that in many indigenous cultures, communities and villages would come together to help all the members to create living structures for themselves and their families. It was a communal effort based on fun,music and dance,in celebration of their own self-sufficiency and relationships. The hope is as times change, people will find ways to tap back into that communal spirit and create villages for themselves with the materials given to them directly by Mother Nature.
We would bring live musicians out to jam while the children and adults would dance around in the clay softening it up for process of creating red clay bricks or for making parts of a structure by packing the clay and shaping it. The community would be involved in all aspects of the process of prepping for the creation of a structure. Many of the structures we created were put up in privately donated spaces. They consisted of things like community benches in parks, outdoor meeting spaces and community ampitheaters.
The most exciting thing about this method was that the communities we worked with really looked forward to their opportunities to get down and dirty in the red mud, and create something significant for the community in the process. Books on Cobbing