Cob House, Devon, England Prairie Sod House, West Kansas, USA Kuria Dwellings, West Kenya Fra-Fra Compound, North Ghana

About this talk

Running time: 26 minutes

Paul Oliver is an architect. He was teaching for a number of years at the Architectural Association in London (in charge of art and history before heading the Graduate School), and then at Dartington College of Art (as Head of the Department of Art and Design) before taking up his present post as Associate Head of the Department of Architecture at Oxford Polytechnic. Here he also leads a research project with Ian Davis on post-disaster housing in earthquake-prone areas in Turkey, together with the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. He is author of a number of books on shelter: "Shelter In Society", "Shelter In Africa" and "Sign & Symbol".

He has also designed a number of exhibitions for the UK Arts Council: "African shelter", "English Cottages & Small Farmhouses" and "The Village Green".

Paul Oliver is particularly interested in simple techniques and the rational use of natural materials. Having spent much time travelling in Africa, the Middle East, America and other parts of the world, he has come to respect the work of those who build with available resources. Earth is one of the oldest and cheapest of building materials, and it has a continuing future once its vulnerability to earthquakes shock, seismic tremor, erosion, salts and chemicals can be overcome. In his talk, he discusses the problems and current solutions.

Please note that a transcript of this talk is available - please contact us for further details.

Paul Oliver

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