Webinar: Earth, Clay & Context

Webinar: Earth, Clay & Context

Live on Wednesday, September 29th, 2021 at 14.00h (Brazil), 19.00h (Europe)

Webinar: Earth, Clay & Context

Shift from Spectacular Architecture to Vernacular Architecture

Different civilizations in different parts of the world have been building with earth and clay for many centuries. Modern life and the current globalized world, though, have taken this material to a peripheral role in our cities. Its properties of climate and humidity regulation, its connection with the place where we build and its cultural traditions have been basically vanished through the appearance of other construction techniques and cheap energy in the 20th century. But this story seems to have an inflection point. The 27th World Congress of Architects UIA2021RIO brought strong voices advocating for a different kind of architecture – a shift from spectacular architecture to vernacular architecture.

This debate is part of the complementary activities of the UIA2021RIO and intends to stress this discussion further, through the dialogue between prominent international architects, whose work is deeply connected with earthen architecture and biological materials. Martin Rauch and Fernando Minto will share their experience working primarily with earth and earth-based materials in such different contexts as Brazil and Europe.

Over the past 10 years, Martin Rauch has been intensively involved in the mechanical prefabrication of rammed earth building components. For this purpose, a worldwide unique process was developed to produce prefabricated rammed earth components in high homogeneous quality. This process has already been used in several large-scale projects on site and with local raw materials. The experience gained in these large-scale projects was integrated into the ERDEN factory workshop at the new production site in Schlins (Austria) by means of a production infrastructure customised for rammed earth construction. The ERDEN Werkhalle is a pioneering production facility for the industrial manufacture of rammed earth building elements.

The architecture and construction with earth in Brazil has been the object of increased interest. Gradually, research centers and private companies invest more resources for its repositioning in the current scenario compared to more conventional techniques. In this webinar, Fernando Minto will discuss the specificities of this modality in Brazil and the main characteristics that surround it in its territory, both in environmental and climatic aspects as well as in social aspects, including the current insertion in the construction market.

To explore these topics, Insight Architecture and Swissnex Brazil invites Martin Rauch (Austria), founder of Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst and Fernando Minto (Brazil), professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro UFRJ to this webinar. They will present their work and discuss the challenges and opportunities they see in earthen architecture for the future of our cities. Igor de Vetyemy, architect and president of the Brazilian Institute of Architects in Rio de Janeiro IAB will moderate the conversation. The event will be held in English and Portuguese, with simultaneous translation to both languages. The webinar is part of the Insight Architecture’s Future Now event, which investigates the use of sustainable materials and new construction techniques such as digital fabrication in architecture as part of the 27th World Congress of Architects UIA 2021 Rio calendar.


Martin Rauch was born in Schlins, Vorarlberg, Austria and graduated from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. During three decades of research in theory and practice, Martin Rauch succeeded in updating traditional rammed earth techniques and integrating them into contemporary architecture, both in terms of design and technology. 1999 Foundation of the company Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst in Schlins; with this company he realized numerous international projects. He was awarded by the 2008 International Prize for Sustainable Architecture Fassa Bortolo Italy, 2008 Building Award of the Central Association of Austrian Architects, 2011 Holcim Award - Morocco and New European Bauhaus Prize 2021.

2003 to 2010 teaching at the Linz University of Art. International workshops in Bangladesh, South Africa and Austria in cooperation with BASEhabitat. Since 2010 honorary professor of the UNESCO chair Earthen architecture, building cultures and sustainable development. Since 2014 guest lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich.

Fernando Minto is an urbanist architect, adjunct professor of the Department of Architecture and Urbanism FAU at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro UFRJ. Minto obtains a master (FAU USP) and doctor (FAU UFRJ) in technology of architecture; he coordinates the architecture office Matéria Base in Rio de Janeiro and is an associate of Terrabrasil and of the Ibero-American network Proterra. He graduated from UNIMEP - UNESCO chair in earth construction in 1998, working with earth constructions since then. He was a founding member of ABCterra (1997), participated in the ABCTerra pavilions at the 3rd and 4th International Biennale of Architecture BIA in São Paulo and has worked on several projects with rammed earth.

Moderation: Igor de Vetyemy The Brazilian architect and professor Igor de Vetyemy is the general commissioner of the 27th World Congress of Architects UIA2021RIO and the current president of the Brazilian Institute of Architects IAB in Rio de Janeiro, ahead of a collective mandate called Oxigena IAB. Teacher and researcher in Universidade Veiga de Almeida, Universidade Estacio de Sá, and Istituto Europeo di Design, de Vetyemy works with earth architecture connecting students and indigene tribes in the state of Rio de Janeiro. He has been director of the Brazilian Institute of Architecture Education - ABEA. Author of Mutualistic Architecture, Compilation of projects reflections and buildings of Marcos Konder Netto, and Powers of ten – 100 exponents of Rio de Janeiro contemporary architecture, Igor de Vetyemy has also produced and directed the movie Konder – the magnificence of simplicity.


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Cite: "Webinar: Earth, Clay & Context" 30 Sep 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/969324/webinar-earth-clay-and-context> ISSN 0719-8884

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