New Earth in 2017

This year we are offering one workshop in Eco-Village design with a hands-on focus on Vaulted Houses, and meditative study of the four elements as a design process. The workshop is in Spain and details can be found on under “cursos de formacion”, as well as on this page. You can register for the workshop either through Domoterra or through us, by email, phone, or through our website “Workshops” page.

Please note! For students who are coming from outside of Europe, we regret that neither New Earth nor Domoterra can provide letters of support for visa purposes. We are not a degree granting institution and are not authorized to provide any letter for student or business visas.

This class is an advanced Earth Architecture workshop, highly recommended for those who have taken a first workshop in the basics of Earth Architecture, or for students of architecture, engineering,  or construction who want to put their talent to serve humanity’s present needs and our planet’s need for environmentally friendly building.

This year of 2017 has seen some momentous changes in the world. Homelessness and migration due to climate change disasters and wars have made millions homeless. Scientists continue to tell us that climate change is a reality which we are making worse by our way of life, yet today’s technological solutions, vital though they are, can only be the “tip of the iceberg”, as the expression goes. Our response at New Earth grows ever more sure that humanity must learn to Live sustainably in this world, which means building ethical, truthful and life-giving communities. The way we design our life space in the home, our habits, architecture, cities, is both physical and spiritual action, and it must reflect those timeless values.

Our vision continues to be for Eco-Communities based in faith, with a design process for Eco-Villages based in the qualities of the elements, and the peace, love and togetherness that come with goodness. The process of designing with the elements includes research into the action as well as the inspiration of the mystic poets such as Rumi, whose message about love includes the Universal Elements of his time, earth, water, air and fire; Lalon who employs vivid images symbolically; Teresa of Avila, and the “Cento” of Proba, whose poetry take into consideration the people’s knowledge of their day.

We decided not to rush around the world teaching in workshops in this year, but to carefully select the main issue and one or two teaching workshops which are really important for 2017 and 2018. Our only planned 2017 WORKSHOP is about developing the right housing for a community cluster, suitable for homeless and refugees to build as a family. Though we are idealists on the issues, putting safety first, we are practical when it comes to design efficiency, cost, and speed of construction.  Our approach in this workshop is a self help MODULAR VAULTS method which can be learned by a short training.

The workshop will take place from July 30 – August 13, 2017, in Spain, at Domoterra Institute. You will have the opportunity to learn the next stage, after the Vaulted Houses workshop of 2016. Maximum enrollment is 10 places, so book early! Minimum enrollment will be five places.  Some partial scholarships will be available based on individual letter of application.

Following is a description of the workshop plan. You can find related articles and photos from the 2016 workshop in our “Workshops” section. To enquire with your questions about joining the workshop you may contact us on

CASAS ABOVEDADAS VAULTED HOUSESFrom Camp to Eco-City:Archemy Design Language 
2017MASTERCLASSWORKSHOP SCHEDULE(inspirational literature context)
Map of Monroyo (Mont-Roig de Tastavins)AM at Domoterra, Monroyo, SPAINPM at Domoterra, Monroyo, SPAINReferencing the texts below can be useful and/or inspirational
1. Sunday July 30Arrive and get settled in at Monroyo, which is a stone-built historic hill town of 350-1,000 persons, depending on the festival/tourist season.Camping at Domoterra is free. A rented room in a shared apartment in Monroyo, has a small daily charge. Two hotels are in town.“Earth, water, air, and fire, are obedient creatures. They are dead to you and me, but alive at God’s presence” - Rumi
2. Mon 31Introduction to the course and its concepts by Architect Iliona Khalili. Welcome and orientation by Domoterra. Personal Introductions.Earth, Water, Air, and Fire, Elements design principles. Everything we need is right here. Hands-on Earth building.Books by Gaston Bachelard, “The Poetics of Space”, “Earth and Reveries of Repose”, “Water and Dreams”, “Air and Dreams”, “The Psychoanalysis of Fire”.
3. Tues August 1The humanitarian need for home. The single unit of living. Support for vaulted houses. Hands-on understanding forms.Building in harmony with the Elements. Earth, Water, Air and Fire in our vision of Home. Bring a favorite poem with you that includes the elements. Our favorites include Folks songs of Europe, mystic poetry such as Rumi, Lalon, Tagore.
4. Wed 2Earthen materials including Superadobe system. Lime stabilization.Hands-on Superadobe from foundations to walls construction.“Emergency Sandbag Shelter” (Khaiili and Outram)
5. Thurs 3Vaulted house as a repeating modular system. Orientation for passive solar energy and wind. Doors and window openings. Hands-on works.Barbara Mas, Domoterra; materials for building, including stone, water, clay, sand, lime, wood, ash, and ceramics."De Architectura / Ten Books on Architecture" - Vitruvius Pollio
6. Fri 4Improvisation, Synectics, collaborative design methods. Connections for walls and vaulted roof, hands-on works.Safety: Arch and Vault history and engineering. Modular design for community “clusters”. Unity and Multiplicity design principle.“The Idea of a Town”, by Joseph Rykwert
7. Sat 5Alchemy of Elements. How to design with the principles of wind, sun and shade, for cost free cooling and heating.Entrances and door vaulting, systems for windows. Putting poetry into action - efficiency. Barbecue in the Pizza Oven.“Cosmology and Architecture in pre-modern Islam” - Samer Akkach
8. Sun 6REST DAY (visit to historic Morella)REST DAY CONTINUED
9. Mon 7Introduction to Boveda Catalana, with Salvatore Gomez. Introduction to his work with the traditional Catalan vaulting techniques using no supporting forms.Hands-on Catalan vaulting. Brick and stone geometry for structural designs. Ceramics and brick tiles applications for structural interior design.“On the Relevance of Beauty; Play, Symbol, and Festival” Hans George Gadamer. (Tessera Hospitalis)
10. Tues 8Continued hands-on Catalan vaulting. Formation of large and small vaults. Vaulted kiln design for ceramic houses.Heat and cool airflow principles. Air, Sun and Shade, their relationship to passive cooling design. Stephen Hawking, “The Grand Design”
11. Wed 921st century research in Opus Signinum by Quique Salgado, Domoterra. Earthen mixtures, application and uses from structure to plastering.The law of cracks in action. “Natural Materials”. High-tech applications, efficient design for high density small cities, structural testing. Manly Hall - Esoteric Alchemy - Transformation of Attitudes (You tube audio)
12. Thurs 10Building Plans and permissions. Options for insulation and solar heating. Vituvius’ Roman flooring explained.Eco-Villages Hardware, presentation by Tommaso Bazzechi. How integrate high yield urban agriculture, with sustainable design.“Ceramic Houses and Earth Architecture” - Khalili
13. Fri 11Completion of vaults hands-on works. Optional, have a pump to deliver a mixture for the floor in the morning, and students will trowel to complete.Economics and principles of sustainable growth. Integrating with all aspects of Sustainable Living. Barbecue in the Pizza Oven.“Today it is not the city but rather the camp that is the fundamental biopolitical paradigm of the West.” - Giorgio Agamben (1998)
14. Sat 12REST DAY (optional visit to lakeside)REST DAY CONTINUED
15. Sun13Completion of all hands-on projects.Individual discussions with participants about their next steps. Conclusion and goodbyes.
16. Mon 14Monroyo Summer Arts and Music Festival begins. People come from all over Europe for one week.The festival is a bonus for those deciding to stay on in Spain for tourism.Town and Festival Information