Terra 2022


Mud Talks - Preserving Earthen Architecture

A podcast miniseries based on audio interviews with experts from the earthen architecture preservation field.

Photo Credit: Cornelia Theimer Gardella                                           


Virtual Event Description

Cornerstones Community Partnerships, in collaboration with Adobe in Action, presents Mud Talks: Preserving Earthen Architecture. This podcast miniseries is based around a series of audio interviews with experts from the earthen architecture preservation field. Each interview focuses on a detailed step-by-step practical breakdown of an essential aspect of earthen preservation. The series supports the Secretary of the Interior’s priority of identifying best practices to manage cultural resources and adapt to changes in the environment by creating training to protect and conserve architecture leading to innovation in the preservation world. The podcasts focus on topics such as 1) The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation & Earthen Structures; 2) Typical Architectural Styles, Features & Materials Found in Earthen Structures in the Southwest USA; 3) Capillary Action and Permeability – Sources, Processes and Effects of Deterioration + Salt Attack; 4) Earthen Building Assessments - Identifying Damage & Structural Issues + Basic Engineering Principles & Seismic/Structural Retrofit of Historic Earthen Buildings 5) Raw Material Identification - Testing and Making Adobe Bricks + Working with Earth & Stone; 6) Basal/Wall Stabilization & Stitching Techniques, Repairing Structural Cracks; 7) Traditional Plasters & Plaster/Surface Conservation; 8) Wood Elements in Earthen Structures & Their Preservation + Maintenance Plans and Cycles for Earthen Structures. The Mud Talks: Preserving Earthen Architecture podcast series is being distributed through all popular podcast publishing platforms. The Mud Talks Preserving Earthen Architecture series is made possible by the support of the US Department of the Interior, National Park Service and a National Center for Preservation Technology & Training grant.

The Terra 2022 year-long virtual lead-up event series, running from June 2021 to June 2022, presents the richness and diversity of earthen architectural heritage around the world, the individuals and organizations working in the sector, and the communities who care for this heritage and its traditions.

Click here for more information on the Terra 2022 Virtual Lead-Up Events Series.

Click here for more information on Terra 2022 World Congress on Earthen Architectural Heritage.



Virtual Event Organizers

Kurt Gardella

Kurt GardellaKurt Gardella is the executive director & lead instructor at Adobe in Action. He is also a project manager at Cornerstones Community Partnerships. Kurt specializes in online and field-based adobe construction education. He holds a Certificate in Adobe Construction from Northern New Mexico College (Quentin Wilson) and is also certified as a Specialist for Building with Earth (Registration #01-208-0810) by the Dachverband Lehm (German Association for Building with Earth) and the Handwerkskammer Ulm (Ulm Chamber of Trades and Crafts). Kurt also holds an Adobe Proficiency Certification from The Earthbuilders' Guild.

Jake Barrow

Jake Barrow

Jake Barrow is the Program Director for Cornerstones Community Partnerships, having joined the organization in 2009. He served as Executive Director from 2016 through 2020 when he returned to his former position. He retired from a thirty-year historic preservation career in the National Park Service, twenty years of which he spent as project manager and architectural conservator on Park Service projects in the Intermountain Region that focused on earthen, stone, and timber architecture. His work at Cornerstones has seen him oversee dozens of traditional building restoration projects across New Mexico and the West, at churches, community buildings, historic sites, and National Monuments. He is the 1996 recipient of the Appleman-Judd Award for Cultural Resource Stewardship in the NPS. He received the 2002 New Mexico Heritage Preservation Award and in 2015 he received the New Mexico Lifetime Achievement Heritage Preservation Award.

The podcast features many other specialists from the earthen architecture field. They include, in order of appearance in the podcast episodes: Randy Skeirik, former Historical Architect with the Vanishing Treasures Program of the National Park Service; Jake Barrow, Cornerstones Community Partnerships Program Director; Francisco Uvina, Project Consultant and Director of the Historic Preservation and Regionalism Certificate Program at the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning; Pat Taylor, Historic Preservation Specialist and General Contractor; Eric Liefeld, President of Mesilla Valley Preservation, Inc.; Calvin Chimoni, National Parks Stone Mason for El Morro National Monument; and Angela Francis, Cornerstones Community Partnerships Project Manager.

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