Natural building and self empowerment in Nong Khai, Northern Thailand

This passed month of January, it was offered a great opportunity of collaboration between surplus design and the Gaia ashram in Northern Thailand. Geoffroy, went as the surplus representative, to co- facilitate this two week natural building and self empowerment workshop. Alongside Om and Tom, the founders of the Gaia ashram and respectively eco-village design and deep ecology facilitators, the team brought the level pretty high, with lots of fun and lots of sharing of knowledge and experience.

14 participants coming from 9 different countries came to experience a different lifestyle, with more connections with our natural enviroment, more connections with each others and more connections with ourselves.

Through group activities and self directed sessions, the participants got to :

-design their building projects

– harvest all the building materials on site

– build

working on the designs


Within two weeks we achieved the construction of three walls with extremly high technical levels in term of design choices. We have achieved with great success to defy the law of gravity with ancient knwoledge on arch making. Some of the main key outcomes on a practical level were :

-adobe bricks making

-brick laying

-natural arch making (including carpentry for building the arch form)

-cob making and using

-lintel inserting

-bottle bricks making

– wattle and cob making

– plastering


We also worked on our personal life project, understanding of holistic goals management, understanding of the different personality types, checking in with our emotional state, tackling with the importance of compassionate communication in our daily lifes.


A great internship, with the start of some great friendships, lead us to already fix the dates for the next internship of the same kind, with the same team of facilitators at the same place next year.


duo yoga door working on egg shape window working on door frame group photo egg shape window group talk