Living walls : building with cob
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Subjectcob; community; documentary; environment; ethnography; material culture
There's an interesting phenomenon happening on the South Coast of British Columbia, Canada- particularly on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Groups of women, couples and families are going back to the roots of craftsmanship to build their own houses. These houses are not your typical timber framed home. These cob homes are made from a mixture of clay, sand and straw. The author draws upon data collected through interviews with nine participants. Through the examination of why people live in or build with cob, the author shows the importance of this material in relation to community and connectivity, as well as environment and health. Two professionally produced audio documentaries and two magazine-style articles contribute to wider public knowledge and understanding of the physical and mental sensations and beliefs of the participants, as well as their understanding of how others perceive cob builders and dwellers to be.