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Darcy Stebbins

Spending 2 months in Auroville, a small township in Tamil Nadu, Southern India learning about sustainable building materials and construction practices was the best experience of my life. I spent my first two weeks taking two 1 week technical and hands-on seminars at the Auroville Earth Institute learning about Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks and Stabilized Rammed Earth foundations and walls. Next i took a one day seminar at the Auroville Bamboo Center learning about Bamboo as a building material. Lastly, I spent the rest of my time volunteering at a non-profit housing project based in Auroville. I had the time of my life studying natural construction practices, and I learned so much. I finally am sure of the path I want to walk for the rest of my life.

Since I’ve returned to the States, I have been teaming up with Peter Temple to recruit 10-15 students to travel to Auroville for a semester and take seminars. Essentially, we would like to set up a study abroad program for Keene State Students. So far, we have a handful of students interested in going to Auroville next spring semester, and Peter and I were hoping I would be able to join this group as a mentor and tour guide, since I am now familiar with Auroville. With the Award money, I hope to return to Auroville to learn more sustainable practices, help educate other people interested in this subject, and see that Auroville becomes well known by the general public.

As far as implementing my architecture training, as mentioned before, I hope to continue to learn other sustainable practices, pair it with my architectural design skills, and be able to go to countries in need of housing options. I want to supply these people with knowledge and experience on how to be able to build their own dwellings for themselves, and their community.