January 2012: B.U.G. (Beautiful.Useful.Green) Design

                                                   Sourabh Phadke

Sally writes, “In December last year I MC’d three inspiring days of stories and ideas at the Humanitarian Engineering Conference in Melbourne.  A standout was Sourabh Phadke, a passionate Indian architect, philosopher and teacher who helps slum children build their own schools out of materials other people call junk.


Sourabh Phadke stands in front of the home he is building – made of earth, straw, and ‘junk’ – at the Aman Setu School in Wagholi, India.

Why is it beautiful?  Sourabh brings many streams of education to the slum kids: how to build a structure from bottles, mud and plastic bags; how to create a functional place of community; and how to manage ablutions in a hygienic and useful way.  His message is clear, his graphics are simple, and his passion is admirable.

Why is it useful? Sourabh uses an iron to melt plastic bags together, creating tarpaulins for waterproofing his buildings. He cuts up plastic bottles to make gutters, downspouts and air vents for the walls. His resourceful work is the epitome of usefulness.

Why is it green? Sourabh doesn’t merely recycle rubbish, he upcycles waste packaging into useful, long lasting structures.  Would that more communities did the same.

To find out more about Sourabh’s philosophy of equitable living through equitable building, read the Sakaal Times article.

Check out Sally’s blog for more B.U.G. Designs.

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