Learn about our Earth hand building Team
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed” – Gandhi
His roots were from a traditional farmer’s family. He stopped his studies from a conventional architecture college and travelled extensively in different parts of Indian villages. After quitting his college one and a half year worked under a tribal master making driftwood sculptures in Khajuraho. In his journey he met and worked with master sculptors, painters, spiritual teachers, and photographers to uplift his knowledge in making shelters. In 2009 he was granted a degree in architecture from Indian Institute of Architecture. Same year he submitted himself to nature and started living under the foot hills of Arunachala. He founded Thannal Hand Sculpted Homes in 2011 and continuing his journey in self-study and earthen shelter.
Initially worked with organic clothing, plants and animals together Co-Founding Thannal Hand Sculpted Home with Biju in 2011. She is totally involved with most of the activities in Thannal including soft furnishing, handmade accessories, plants & herbs and continuing her experiments in natural finishes. She is from a village near Western Ghats, north part of Kerala and has been living in Tiruvannamalai since 2010.
Adhya and Bodhi vriksha
Vriksha means ‘Tree’ and Adhya means ‘First’. Both Vriksha’s are keen helpers in making of Thannal Homes. With friends in nearby alternative school they help the mountain by planting seeds and help Thannal by keeping mud.
Being an inherent nature lover, Sriraman moved to the foothills of Arunachala in 2014 after a long reluctant life in different cities.A self-taught programmer and technology enthusiast, Sriraman believes technology should never take mankind away from nature. Now continuing his journeys in Thannal Natural Building School and Alternative renewable energy solutions using elements.
After getting introduced to Natural Buildings through workshop, he joined Thannal to pursue his journey in building close to earth. Involved in documentation, writing about various natural building methods and co-ordinating workshops, believing in the slow learning process of getting adapted to be an architect sensitive to material and space.
Dawood Ibrahim Muwal, Abdul Razak Muwal & Liyakat Muwal
Being a mason for decades in heritage conservation in Mumbai, Dawood ji later associated with Thannal from 2016. With him we revived the Thappi-Lohi Plaster after series of experiments on site like the underground grey water tank & lime tank. His brothers, Razak ji and Liyakat ji have co-ordinated the Revival Workshop in Thappi-Lohi Plaster in Sardarshahar, Rajasthan. They look forward to bring back the dying craftsmanship back into practice, by training more people.
Munuswamy Anna, Arunasalam Anna & Taniasalam Anna
Three brothers from a farming family, they are active in our natural buildings from more than two years, in Earth-Bag home, Dervish Studio and Learning Center. They have also assisted numerous natural building workshops in the campus. They are also part of many experiments done on-site with master masons.
Currently learning more about techniques in Mud and Lime, Islamuddin have left his home in Rajasthan to work with us full time, in natural materials. He is part of many new experiments done in our campus to find better solutions to challenges in natural buildings. He co-ordinates workshops and is an instructor in Thannal Natural Building School.
After studying Art and Animation for graduation, he was influenced by Nammalwar ideologies for farming and living in the natural way. After learning farming, he now works to promote natural farming in the villages through his work. He is coordinating the farming works within campus and teaching our local farmers about Natural farming.
Seth Anna & Serena Akka
Seth Anna have been with Thannal for many years now, handing various building activities and farming within campus. He is also an active farmer who is now trained in natural building techniques. He has also worked with master masons in our site.
Serena Akka assists with natural building workshops in the campus and preparing many natural building ingredients for various uses in home making.
Dharan Ashok & Prashanth P.S.
Along with his studies as an architecture student, Dharan is exploring other art forms like film and music. He helps with documentation and video editing and has helped in the conceptualisation of Natural building music like ‘Adobe Girl’ and ‘Khoj’.
Prashanth is working in the magazine section of Sri Ravishankar Ashram for 10 years and is the musician for our Natural building songs.
A professional thatcher from a village in Tiruvannamalai. He started his carrier in thatching when he was very young. His hand has touched almost all the thatched roof of Thannal Homes. When he understood about the fading thatched shelters in south India, he started dedicating most of his time in Thannal and started experimenting with us in different types of thatch roof like Palm, Reeds, Coconut leaf etc in different dimensions