Exploring the Craft of Sewing Machine-Facilitated Novel Earthbag Geometries
MetadataShow full item record
The earthbag, or flexible-form rammed earth wall system, is a low-tech building system that can be used to quickly erect emergency shelters for disaster relief or, alternatively, to construct “do-it-yourself” homes within the context of self-building construction. Because the required building materials are affordable and the construction method easy to replicate and teach, earthbag construction is more accessible than comparable building systems that require certifications. This study aims to explore the impact of machine-facilitated bag craft on earthbag building processes, with regards to bag production, sewing craft and reducing on-site tooling. Following a literature review, a design-as-research methodology approach with a sewing machine is used to replicate existing earthbag geometries and generate novel geometries, varying in bag material and production process. The first part of the study catalogs bag fabric material behavior when sewn, instructions for sewing existing and new geometries, and selects one novel bag prototype, the Surprise-Star, as a case study for preliminary stacking assessment. The second part of the study catalogs the craft experience of modified earthbag geometries intended to substitute existing tools used on-site, which culminates in an assessment of the feasibility of sewn novel earthbag construction.