Tesia Walsky, senior associate and studio lead, M Moser Associates, holds a BS in Architecture from the University of Minnesota and a MArch from the University at Buffalo. In 2010, Tesia moved to India to practice earth construction and teach at the Auroville Earth Institute. She then moved to the UAE to consult on innovative technologies, including water treatment, earth building and sustainable materials. Currently she is living and working in New York City, pushing the envelope on adaptive reuse, innovative workplaces and sustainable practice.
This photo essay features work completed while living, working and teaching at the Auroville Earth Institute, Tamil Nadu India, 2010-2011. MAKING BLOCKS: It takes three mixing piles, 2 women, 4 men, 3 pulls and 28 days to cure. Two women sift soil and mix slurry. Soil pile #1: measure, add water; Soil pile #2: add more water; Soil pile #3: mix. Man #1: pours mixture into bin, slides it over so mix falls into the mold. Man #2: pulls the lever three times – the first two pulls only go half way. Man #3: assists with the third and final pull all the way. The lever is released and the mold pops up, revealing the compressed earth block. Man #4: takes the block and runs it to a neatly stacked pile. He does this 850 times per day.