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Emma's life journey towards natural building

Emma Liao is a natural building instructor and designer who specialized in leading construction teams and workshops, using local materials, and combining traditional methods with innovative design. In 2011, she took a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) and then launched a movement for collaborative natural building in Houbi, near Tainan city. She was among the grassroot builders presented at the Taiwan pavilion of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. She constructed 60 energy-saving earth oven, 10 ecological kitchens, 5 small farm houses using natural materials, and participated in many collaborative projects.

In these podcasts in Chinese and French, she talks about why she got interested in natural building, how she transitioned towards this filed, what natural building can bring to people, and shares her views on various issues, including climate change.

“When I turned 26, I realized that I was already waiting to retire! I thought: “oh my God, this kind of life is so weird!”. But everyone thought that I was lucky. I felt uncomfortable and begun to feel that this was not the kind of life that I wanted. It was like being struck in a company and it would have taken me 20 more years to retire. It was simply not possible for me. So, for the first time, I made a crazy decision: I left and moved to another field.”

“Earth, when used for natural building, gives everyone an energetic feedback. It will make your body tired, but at the same time your heart and soul will be fulfilled.”

“Do we need so much money? Or maybe what we need most is to figure out what we really want to do in our lives (…). Actually, half of the students participating in this workshop are exploring how to find a balance between work and life.”

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