Earth Dreamer - A Community Revitilization Project

Artist: Gurvan Maillard de La Morandais, Benjamin Blevins, Qu Meng
Location: Higashi-Hiroshima
Year: 2015
Researcher: Dan Wang

The project Earth Dreamer-- A Community Revitalization took place in Uenohara Farm Cadore in the area of Higashi-Hiroshima city. The project aims to provide a place for the social revitalization of the Fukuto-cho community. The population of the inhabitants kept decreasing from 3600 in 1970 to 2600 in 2010. The Earth Dreamer was initiated to bring as many people as possible to stimulate the exchanges between residents of the community and people from other places.

The Earth Dreamer was set up by three graduates Gurvan maillard de La Morandais, Benjamin Blevins and Qu Meng from Hiroshima University in 2014.Thanks to the Unehore Farm Cadore, the team had a place and financial support to build the earthbag house. The idea of earthbag house was about making a house mainly used by environmentally friendly, cheapest, and easily handle material. The organization chose local natural material like bamboo, sandbag and wood, and was completed with the help of the local residents with various ages and students from Hiroshima University.

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During the construction period, the team organized a series of activities to gather more and more people such as natural crafting workshop, bamboo open house and open seminars. The building process of an earthbag house involved a long-term participation of making an ideal place for interacting with local people. More than 100 people came to participate to the different workshops. There was no age-limitation and all the groups could find their role in the project.

The objectives of this workshop is to generate links between the citizen of fukutomi area and other groups or individuals as well as to learn how to make a house by using mostly local materials.The earthbag house was used to hold many events such as international luncheons, music stage and barbecue.

The building process is the linkages of the different group. The method of building earthbag house presented all the artistic, social and technical advantages. In terms of social aspects, The earthbag house workshop was as a process for generating linkages. The construction method is an original and creative approaches to a people friendly environment. It also showed a good example of recycling, like the use of glass bottles or car glasses for the decoration of the walls. The construction was low tech and low cost, but stronger than traditional house. It also benefited the local economy, local material and manpower.

The structure of project was The core member were executive board from Fukutomi area and the Earth Dreamer. The direct participants and volunteers were the execute team. The Earth Dreamer did analysis report that studies the participants, the cost and working hours. Like there were 129 volunteers that had followed the whole project, and people worked 4 days per week on average. The whole house cost 750 hours in total to complete, and required 760,000 Yen for the total construction.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency