Constructive Cultures and Sustainable Development

The number of experts on earthen architecture is presently estimated at about 500 persons. CRATerre-EAG has trained most of them. The School of Architecture of Grenoble is still the only institution offering a post-graduate training programme on earthen architecture, recognized by the French Ministry of Culture, Direction of Architecture and Heritage. However, this number of specialists remains derisory on the world scale. Moreover, the lack of a scientific culture amongst many deciders responsible for housing often leads to the destruction of an exceptional but fragile environment and heritage.

The "international normalization", unaware of a regional richness, further blocks the access of a great part of the world’s population to decent housing conditions. Therefore the UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture proposes to research and develop earthen architecture and to transfer all researches and development through training and education activities in existing universities and in scientific as well as technical centres.

To accelerate the research and development worldwide, and the dissemination of scientific and technical know-how on earthen architecture amongst the higher education institutions, in the following three domains: environment and heritage, human settlements, and economy and production.


The UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture aims to giving priority to the development of training programmes in institutions for higher education, both on the levels of initial education (awareness) and specialized training (post-graduate courses). Intensive courses for a professional audience are also being organised on national and regional levels. All training activities are based on an active pedagogy, focussing on operational and practical activities.

Scientific as well as operational research is a key activity of the UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture. It covers these various fields: Research on materials and technologies but also on economy of production with local building materials, construction know-how, heritage, human settlements and environmental issues.

Experimentation and application
Priority is being given to the development of demonstration activities on the field, in cooperation with governmental and international organizations, but also with NGOs and with the private sector. Interdisciplinary actions are the basis of such activities.

Network creation
Setting up an international network is an essential tool for the research, development, promotion and experience sharing on earthen architecture. This network is being set up on various levels: regional, interregional, national and international.

Information collection and sharing

Research and development, as well as studies in the field of Earthen Architecture have been accumulated worldwide. Unfortunately this information has not been capitalised yet by anybody. The UNESCO Chair Earthen Architecture aims to gather all the information available worldwide and become a knowledge platform accessible by all.

The dissemination activities of the UNESCO Chair are focussed on three levels:
Promotion of earthen architecture through the media and exhibitions for the general public, dissemination in the scientific community through the set up of a data base, strategy of awareness to specific populations.

The partners of the UNESCO Chair are universities and institutions; priority is given to those establishments who have already an existing structure able to manage and programme high-level education or development projects.

- France

- Italy

- Portugal

: CRATerre-EAG, Centre of Excellence of the UNESCO Chair, School of Architecture of Grenoble (EAG), Grenoble
: Università di Cagliari, Facoltà di Ingegneria, Instituto di Architettura, Cagliari
: Escola Superior Gallaecia of Architecture

- South Africa

- South Africa

- Burkina Faso

- Nigeria
- Nigeria
- Uganda

- Morocco
- Morocco

- University of the Free State (UFS), Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Architecture, Bloemfontein
- Peninsula Tecknikon, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Architecture Technology, Cape Town
- LOCOMAT Project, Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urbanism, Ouagadougou
- CECTech, Centre for Earth Construction Technology, Jos
- University of Bauchi, Faculty of Architecture, Bauchi
- Makerere University of Kampala, (MUK), Faculty of Architecture, Kampala
- National School of Architecture (ENA), Rabat
- Hassania School of Public works, Casablanca

- Brazil

- Colombia

- Colombia

- Mexico
- Peru

- Argentina
- Argentina
- Uruguay

- Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba (UNIMEP), Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Piracicaba
- Universidad de Los Andes, Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Bogota
- Universidad Pontifica Bolivariana, Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Medellin
- ITESO, Departamento del Habitat y Desarrollo Urbano, Guadalajara
- Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC), Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Lima
- Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo of Santa Fe
- Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo of Túcume
- University of the Republic of Uruguay, Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo of Montevideo and Salto (unidad Norte)

- India - Auroville Earth Institute, Auroville
Middle East
- Iran

- Iran

- Research and training centre of Haft Tappeh and Chogha Zanbil, with ICHTO-RCCCR, Susa
- Yazd University, School of Art and Architecture, Yazd


Mr. Hubert Guillaud, Chairman
Centre of Excellence
of the Chair
Ecole d Architecture
de Grenoble
B.P. 2636
38036 Grenoble Cedex 2 France
Tel: +33 (0) 476 69 83 81 (EAG)
Fax: +33 (0) 476 22 72 56

UNESCO – Division of Higher Education
Mr. Georges Haddad,
Chief of the Division
Mme Inga Nichanian,
Programme specialist
7 place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07
Tel: +33 (0) 145 68 11 25
Fax: +33 (0) 145 68 56 26

Commission Nationale Française pour l’UNESCO
Mr. Jean-Pierre Régnier,
Secrétaire Général Adjoint
Tel: +33 (0) 153 69 37 80 / 39 55 / 39/07
Fax: +33 (0) 153 69 32 23
Mr. Satprem Maïni
Representative for Asia
Auroville Earth Institute
Auroshilpam, Auroville 605 101
Tamil Nadu, India
Tel: +91 (0) 413 – 262 3064
262 3330
Fax: + 33 (0) 413 – 262 2886

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