Amreeta Verma

Document Type

Thesis Prep


Fall 12-2022


indigenous architecture, local sourced, earth materials, natural environment, embodied carbon, environmental degradation, resource depletion, soil, tectonic structure, dichotomy, sustainable construction, material culture, tactile experimentation, man-made structure




Architectural Engineering | Architectural History and Criticism | Architectural Technology | Architecture | Environmental Design


This research posits that a revitalization of indigenous earth architecture practices in a contemporary context can mitigate the immense waste and embodied carbon in the construction industry. Earth materials are the focus of this research because they are locally sourced, abundantly available, and can be reused or returned to the natural environment, when utilized in a circular consumption cycle. Designing for reuse reduces the impact of construction waste on the burgeoning issue of environmental degradation and resource depletion.

The structural viability and environmental enclosure capabilities of soil throughout its lifecycle will be tested in different forms derived geomorphically from the tectonic structure of earth materials. Across scales – from material sample to landform to territory – tectonic logic will be analyzed and adapted. Material experimentation is used to develop threshold conditions between the proposed earth architecture and existing built infrastructure. Connection details will be designed with a focus on the dichotomy of found and built structures.

Sustainable construction practices, structural limitations, material culture, and site history are examined through the lens of soil. Geomorphology studies set the framework for material property analysis, textural and tactile experimentation, and tectonic logic adaptation. These studies will inform the design of a new earth architectural technique derived from both indigenous practices and contemporary influences. While built from primarily earth materials, the new style will connect to both geological and man-made structures found on site. This technique will be applied at quarries, the sites of previous extractive industries, to revitalize abandoned spaces and attempt to mitigate the negative.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.