Beam Camp 2021

A Universe

This is our Beam Camp Project Development Process!  It contains the Sketching of our Ideas, Prototyping of Materials and Research of Techniques.  It also contains Activities for you to do at home prior to Camp!

follow these links for
Research / Prototyping

Gourd Symbolism
Wattle and Daub
Other Building Techniques
Window Instruments
Casting Instrument Parts

follow these links for

Soil Shake Test
Relief / Prompt!

Update - Due to COVID-19, A Universe was rescheduled for Summer 2021.  For Covid-related cautionary information pertaining to Beam Camp, please see the Beam Center site for updates on Guidelines for Camps provided by the American Camp Association and the CDC.

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Comments / Questions / Upload

Info on the Designer -
Ye Qin Zhu


Other Building Techniques

There are many forms of natural building being used all over the world, both historically and in the present.  Often builders will draw from one or more methods to suit their needs.  Below are some we have found during our research that are exciting and innovative.  As far as we know we won’t be using these for A Universe, but they are so cool!

Adobe Brick

Adobe Bricks are essentially bricks made out of cob and dried.  These building blocks can be assembled and stuck together using additional cob.  If time allows, this can be a way to increase the stability of your structure.  Adobe brick has been used for centuries and continues to be used today.


Hempcrete is a relatively new building material, created as an alternative to concrete, which is incredibly wasteful and not good for the environment.  Hempcrete is a mix of lime, water and hemp hurd, the fiberous stem of the hemp plant.  Hemp grows rapidly in lots of different climates and is a useful renewable resource.  Hempcrete is waterproof, fireproof, and can be dyed many colors.  Like concrete, hempcrete can be cast into blocks, slabs, domes, any shape you can make a mold!

Earth Bag

Earth bag construction is a method using a long tarp tube filled with whatever earth you have on hand, wrapped in a coil to create organic structures.  Each layer is pressed flat and has a piece of barbed wire laid between to lock together each coil.  Earth Bag buildings are earthquake proof, extremely solid, and do not require any specific type of soil, just fill the bags with whatever you’ve got!  This method has been popularized by Cal Earth in California.  

Straw Bale

Straw bale contruction utilizes the interlocking fibers of straw, using straw bales as giant building blocks that are then covered in cob.  



Cordwood is a method using chopped wood, stuck together with mortar or cob.  It is super strong and can cut down on materials if you have a lot of lumber available locally.

Rammed Earth

Rammed earth is similar to cob construction, but is made by compressing a mix of earth and lime into a form.  This compression fusses that material together, creating solid walls.  The result can lead to absolutely beautiful natural gradients on the wall surface.

Woven  Houses

There are examples of beautiful woven living structures all over the word, the artistry and possibilities are endless!