Made in EARTH

ಮೇಡ್ ಇನ್ ಅರ್ಥ್ | sustainable architecture & building practices

1. PROJECTS - 2015 Cuckoo Forest School -

2015 Cuckoo Forest School
40 Volunteers coming together to build the Cuckoo Forest School
In collaboration with  : Cuckoo Movement for Children, Varun Thautam
With Earth plaster, Lime Plaster, Earth workshop, Adobes, Arches, Vaults, Domes    |  Singarapettai, Tamil Nadu  |  2015

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(Photo credits : Neal Karthik, Cuckoo Forest Workshop Volunteer)

Then came Kali, he gave me a hundred kisses on my cheek, I hugged him and did not let him go. He was excited. He was one of those to whom the school belonged.
I had been waiting on the rope bed for one of my friends to ask for a brick or some mortar. We were constructing a Nubian vault, over the toilets. The arch, to be extruded, was beautiful. We were constructing portions of the much awaited Cuckoo Forest school.
Cuckoo being an NGO, needed help to make this dream come true. And help came, it came from far and wide, from as far as Nagaland and Delhi. The soon to be ‘never forget me’ friends came together to put up the dome form.
We had just started to intern with Jeremie, who had been incessantly guiding the architecture/ construction, for the whole week. Work had started on the 5th of July 2015, under Varun Thautam, another earth conscious architect.
I turned to see into the kitchen, Azhageshwari akka, our superstar, whose kitchen churned out the most amazing meals right from the morning herbal tea, to the fibre rich breakfasts, and full fledged lunches and dinners, complete with fried appalams.
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Some volunteers, I had seen in the morning, were collecting firewood for cooking. The bamboo in the forest, rustled as they had moved past me, not knowing my incognito-doing, closeby.
The place had so much life, so much aura. The energies were quite literally flowing from every direction. The people and their stories made me feel minuscule. People were there not only to give a hand at the construction, I understood.
They were of varied professions: Architects, Engineers, IT professionals, farmers, psychologists, journalists, photographers, theatre artists, entrepreneurs, writers, even aspiring cricketers. No two artists had the same story to tell. They all seemed to be exuberantly glowing in their own ways. No two volunteers had the same reason to come.
But all of them had one thing in common. They cared. They valued something. They valued earth.
Earth construction was perhaps the most apt technique. Five brick makers had made 4000 bricks a day, before I had reached the site. Eight volunteers churned out eight wheel barrows of clay mortar, each day, as they got themselves muddy pedicures. The work went on till lunch, and continued after tea. The happy ice-cream man had been having the time of his life, as we all craved, for the frosty sugar, under the flame thrower in the sky.
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That night was the last night, under the serial lights of the deep sky. Moon rise, star song, what beauty, I felt in the reflection of my view. The void seem to grow, more and more, as talks of parting, seem to hang in the air. Poetry and theatre in the dead dark forest came alive with the vermilion of flames and echoes from within. The passion seemed to consume everyone from the inside out. And it ended, with deep question.
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Indeed, the cuckoo volunteers served a lot of revered love to us. It is this love that has drenched children like Kali in. I felt so small in the company of the mighty mountains, the tall trees, most insignificant when I was shown their huge hearts and ever open minds. I feel I took so much more from cuckoo than I could have ever given.
I paid reverence to the land by sprinkling seeds and spreading life.I felt something very new, something that I can never describe when I removed my sandals that day. The Earth was breathing heavily under me.
By Santosh Shyamsunder, Team Made In Earth
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Photographs by Kaveer Rai
The Cuckoo Forest School brought together 40 volunteers from all over INDIA to build a handmade adobe school at the foothills of Javadhu, Puliyanur village in 10 days. Read more about the project here
Read an article about Cuckoo Forest School in the New Indian Express here

 

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Inthenews
Together with Cuckoo Movement for children and Varun Thautam

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“The Cuckoo Movement for Children” is an informal group of friends and volunteers who has been working with rural children of Tamil Nadu since 2004. They have established libraries and nurseries in villages across the state, organizing plenty of creative activities. They also partner with local schools to introduce the kids to traditional folk arts, music, martial arts, theatre, organic farming, engaging them in exciting discussions on socio-political and environmental issues, organizing movie projections, etc.

Over the years, the dream of the Cuckoo movement members to establish an alternative school dedicated to rural children has grown bigger and bigger. And it is about to come true!

They purchased collectively seven acres of land at the foothills of the Jawadhu Hills, Vellore District, Tamil Nadu. A beautiful place close to nature, at the border of the forest where lesser privileged children will be able to get access to free education.

 

They need your help to build the first structure on the site! Entirely made of earth, with a minimal use of cement and chemicals, the building will serve as a camp site to train children. It will also be a resource centre for Organic farming, alternative education, alternative medicine and alternative politics.

The workshop

From the 6th to the 15th of July 2015

10 days of fun, learnings and hard work to build the first building of the Cuckoo Forest School!

What will you learn?

The 2 stories building is entirely made of adobes (raw earth bricks) and earth mortar. You will discover all the steps to build an earthen structure made of arches and domes :

  • Identification of soil
  • Brick masonry
  • Construction of arches
  • Making of domes with the free spanning technique (no centering / formwork)
  • Lime based plaster for water proofing

Program

Dates : from the 6th to the 15th of July 2015

The workshop will start on the 6th of July at 10am.
The exact workshop timing will be defined collectively on the first day.
Apart from the construction activities there will be discussions, cultural events and movies in the evenings.

 

Accommodation and food

Very basic accommodation will be provided since there is no infrastructure on the site yet.
In a few words : You will be very close to nature surrounded by a mind blowing landscape 🙂
Tents and temporary toilets will be installed on the site and all 3 meals will be provided to the participants.

Equipment

Be ready to get dirty!
Carry a good hat and a water bottle that you can fill on site.
You can also bring bed-sheets for the night / blankets.

 

Venue

Cuckoo Forest School,
Puliyanur Village,
Singarapettai
Tamil Nadu

GPS (exact location) : 12.279661, 78.642571

https://goo.gl/maps/t0zlw

 

Fees

The workshop is free: kids get a school, you get to learn!
However, the budget of the cuckoo movement being extremely limited, we ask you to consider giving a small contribution for the food and if you feel like, for the rest of the project.

All accounts will be transparently shared.

Example of contribution : 150 Rs / day

You will find the payment detail in the registration form.

Registration

Please fill this online form :  http://tinyurl.com/njngya2

Any doubt? call Senthil  0 99 024 10 113
or Sivaraj 09965689020

 

Organizers

Cuckoo Movement for children :
https://www.facebook.com/cuckoochildren
http://cuckoochildren.blogspot.in/

Varun Thautam
www.varunthautam.com

Made In Earth Collective
www.madeinearth.in

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