[permaculture] May 28/SB Perm Network ECO-Film Night Honors Nader Khalili/ Santa Barbara

Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network lakinroe at silcom.com
Fri May 22 09:21:52 EDT 2009

Santa  Barbara Permaculture Network
  ECO-Film Night
Honoring the Life of Visionary Architect Nader Khalili

with film-maker Dastan Khalili & documentary film feature
  "Earth Turns to Gold"

Thursday, May 28, 2009
Santa Barbara Public Library, Faulkner Gallery
  7pm, donation $5

"Earth turns to Gold in the hands of the Wise"

	O n Thursday, May 28, at 7pm, Santa 
Barbara Permaculture Network ECO-Film Night 
honors the life of visionary architect Nader 
Khalili and the California Institute of Earth & 
Architecture (Cal-Earth), with a feature film 
documentary "Earth Turns to Gold" by Dastan 

	Designing with Nature, using Earth, 
Water, Air, Fire and the simple shapes of arches, 
vaults and domes, Nader Khalili taught we could 
easily build homes for humanity with nothing more 
than the soil beneath our feet.  He suggests that 
if we recognize the equilibrium of these 
elements, we will never have any environmental 
problems.  Learning the perfect harmony of nature 
and how it can be applied to architecture, this 
practical harmony can help us build habitats that 
are sustainable, nontoxic, and ecologically sound.

	Leaving behind pitched roofs of 
conventional housing, his arched earthen 
structures don't require a single tree to be cut, 
helping to eliminate deforestation around the 
globe  Because of the dome egg shaped 
"shell-a-structure" design, they are some of the 
strongest buildings possible, able to withstand 
hurricanes, floods, and fires.  Originally 
designed to be ceramic (fired earth) houses, if 
properly built, grow stronger in fire, and have 
been tested to 6.5 on the Richter scale for 
earthquakes, making them perfect candidates for 
housing in Southern California. 

	Santa Barbara Permaculture Network began 
visiting Cal-Earth more than ten years ago for 
annual road-trips in the Fall to follow the 
evolving site and its many innovative building 
prototypes.  A strong friendship developed that 
lasted until the death of Nader Khalili last 
year.  Noting that Khalili's work actually 
started in Santa Barbara County, with a 600 ft 
prototype house on an 850 acre proposed village 
site in New Cuyama in the late 1980's, Santa 
Barbara Permaculture Network wanted to 
acknowledge his extraordinary life with an 
evening of tribute in our community. 

	Khalili was a Muslim born in Iran.  His 
grandmother raised him on Sufi mysticism and the 
poetry of Rumi, a poet born in 1 3th century 
Persia, who inspired all of his work.  Khalili 
became an architect who built high-rises in both 
Los Angeles and Tehran.  In the 1970's he took a 
sabbatical from his busy career to travel through 
the deserts of the Middle East on motorcycle. 
While searching for simple structures suitable 
for housing the poor he noticed dome-like 
structures used for baking and grain storage that 
had stood strong through the millennia in areas 
frequented by earthquakes. He returned to found 
Cal-Earth, located eventually on a ten acre site 
in Hesperia, California, where he worked 
tirelessly to perfect a building technique that 
would use only natural, on-site materials, but 
could also pass rigorous building and safety 
codes.  One of his best-known inventions was the 
“Super Adobe” Earthbag construction system, 
developed for NASA in the 1980's, who had put out 
a call for designs for structures on the Moon and 
Mars.  Khalili argued the same wisdom and  logic 
for using on-site materials, as transporting 
materials from Earth would cost more than gold. 
Khalili's smaller Earthbag houses were proposed 
as affordable solutions for poverty stricken 
areas in Africa, India, and South America. He 
received special recognition from the United 
Nations for his “Housing for the Homeless” 
proposal in 1987 and his prototypes were 
recognized with the Aga Khan Award for 
Architecture in 2004.  He is the author of 
numerous books including Racing Alone, and 
Sidewalks on the Moon, and was an accomplished 
translator of the poetry of Rumi.  At the time of 
his death, he was perfecting a 3 bedroom, two car 
garage house designed with middle America and the 
suburbs in mind.  With the devastating fires that 
had frequented all of Southern California in 
recent years, he felt it was time to build houses 
that fit into the fire ecology of our region.

	Dastan Khalili is a film-maker who has 
recently finished a series of films of his 
fathers life work. His Greenworks Company works 
in affiliation with the Cal-Earth non-profit, and 
is dedicated to making and distributing 
environmental and humanitarian films and 
productions. Copies of the films and books will 
be available for purchase at the event.

  	The event takes place on Thursday, May 
28, 7pm at the downtown Santa Barbara Public 
Library, 40 East Anapamu St, Santa Barbara. 
Donation $5, no reservations needed.  The event 
is presented by Santa Barbara Permaculture 
Network Non-Profit. For more information, (805) 
962-2571, margie at sbpermaculture.org, 


More Info/Website,You Tube sites:

Cal-Earth website: www.calearth.org

Cal-Earth on You Tube:


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