nader khalili lecture series


Run Time: 7.5 hours

Nader Khalili (1936-2008), founder of CalEarth, was a world-renowned Iranian-American architect, author, humanitarian, teacher, and innovator. Khalili was also famous for his story telling. His favorite pastime was to gather his students and share stories of his own life, as well as stories from ancient Persian poets (Rumi, Hafez, Saa'di) and other philosophers that had inspired him. 

Read about each film in the series here, and watch the entire lecture "Making of a Dream" to preview the series and hear some of his most famous stories. 

Additional Lectures in this series:

Earth Turns to Gold
Natural Materials
Designing With Nature
Earth, Water, Air, Fire
Sunrise Dome

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Watch the entire lecture "Making of a Dream" here to preview the series and hear Nader Khalili tell some of his most famous stories. 

How does a spiritual journey become a tangible reality? In “Making of a Dream” award-winning architect and humanitarian Nader Khalili powerfully answers his own question, “Is it really sane to follow one’s own ideals and dreams and race alone in today’s world?” And after three decades of tirelessly swimming against the raging current, the answer is still a celebrated “yes!”

Is it really sane to follow one’s ideals and dreams and race alone in today’s world?...Midway in my life I stopped racing with others. I picked up my dreams and started a gentle walk…I touched my dreams in reality by racing and competing with no one but myself.

Earth Turns to Gold (2007-86 minutes)

In the feature documentary “Earth Turns to Gold” world renowned, visionary, architect Nader Khalili introduces us to the Alpha Principles of Earth Architecture: earth, water, air, and re, combined with arches, vaults, and domes, as the seven notes of the music of architecture.

Stories and basic technical knowledge are entwined to spark the conviction of the student to begin and sustain the journey of learning, building, and teaching others. We learn how the perfect harmony of nature can be applied to architecture, and how this practical harmony can help us build habitats that are sustainable, nontoxic, and ecologically sound. 

Natural Materials (2007- 73 minutes)

World renowned visionary Architect Nader Khalili teaches us the secrets of natural materials for building Earth Architecture. We learn how to step onto our building site, pick up the earth under our feet, and using field tests analyze and choose a suitable material for constructing our home, permanent communities and emergency shelter.

Khalili teaches us, through stories of both personal experience and legend, how to use these natural nontoxic materials to build healthy and healing homes. In this process we will understand that the principles applied in the innovative modern technology of Superadobe have their roots in the timeless, universal elements earth, water, air and fire. 

Designing with Nature (2007- 101 minutes)

In this film, visionary architect Nader Khalili teaches us the essence of designing Earth Architecture using Superadobe technology. He shares the secrets of nature’s timeless principles and timeless materials to design homes, infrastructure, eco-villages, and even a town, that work in harmony with the environment almost anywhere in the world.

Khalili shows us how to integrate the forms and geometries of arches, domes and vaults with natural forces such as gravity, friction, sun and wind. We learn practical and simple ways to design and construct a home or community that is resistant to fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake or man-made disasters. To connect the audience with the tangible reality of this technical knowledge, his presentation is laced with inspirational stories from the wisdom of masters to his personal journey of discovery. 

Eco-Dome (2005- 63 minutes)

This film shows how a pile of earth, dug out from the building site, is turned into a small house called Eco- Dome ( moon cocoon model), using the Superadobe technology. It documents how professionals and students from many countries training at Cal-Earth Institute built this structure.

It is intended for use with materials and tools developed for instruction during the apprenticeship retreat at Cal-Earth. Superadobe technology was first presented by the architect to NASA for lunar habitats, and can build single or clustered homes on earth which are resistant to fire, floods, wind storms and earthquakes. 

Earth, Water, Air Fire (1980- 28 minutes)

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Earth, Water, Air & Fire documents the building and firing of a Ceramic school in Iran, transforming an adobe/mud brick building into a lasting ceramic architecture. Nader Khalili addresses the age-old enemies of earth architecture—rain, snow, and earthquakes—which cause families to live in fear for their lives under the traditional adobe vaulted roofs, by adding the fourth element of fire to the other three to: …”bake it in place, fuse it like a hollow rock. The house becoming a kiln, or the kiln becoming a house.” (Racing Alone 1999). The resulting monolithic structures are resistant to these destructive forces, offering a method of rehabilitation and reconstruction for the over 60,000 villages in Iran, and for earth architecture around the world.

Sunrise Dome (1988- 33 minutes)

This 33 minute video (1988) documents the building and firing of a ceramic dome in the U.S. The Ceramic Houses technology, called “Geltaftan” from the Persian words “Gel” meaning “earth” and “Taftan” meaning “Firing/Baking/or Weaving,” is the innovation of architech Nader Khalili. Traditional adobe buildings (built with sun-dried clay-brick) are fired like a kiln to fuse the clay-earth into ceramics. This adds the fourth element of fire to the other three of earth, water, and air, to strengthen the adobe structures making them resistant to rain, wind, storms, fire, and earthquakes. 


Immediately after payment, you will be able to download a PDF with instructions and a link for where to view and download the videos. 

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