In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:19
To build from the ground and to return to the ground, the story of this shed is the story of the communities that built it, the groups that will use it that learn from it and inspired to go on to tell the story of a shed. The ambition was to use clay, sand, straw and wood to work as a community to build a shelter with our hands. To engage individuals that had no building experience with materials from their immediate environment, encouraging our natural instinct to build a home.
The Soil Culture Forum was one such community that had a significant impact not only on the build but the people involved. Building, digging, stamping, cobbing, sharing ideas and techniques across a diverse community, the legacy lives on in the walls. Some of the volunteers have been encouraged to build their own homes. There is talk of cob bus shelters on campus. The field is now a hub for growing your own veg, of composting all the kitchen waste from the 250 student kitchens. Courses from the four different colleges on campus have come forward to work together to use the space for drawing, architecture, renewable energy, performance, Art and activism.
The shed has become a small but significant voice in larger conversations of sustainable design and what sustainable education looks like and if we have to move to a larger field the walls will compost down and we’ll grow potatoes.