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Ed Dale Harris

ARCSR Diploma in Architecture 2008-10

Architect and Natural Builder, SAWA

Ed founded SAWA in 2014 while building collaboratively 'a House for Victim' with 20 local Rwandan farmers directly effected by the genocide. This profound experience and research propelled the work of SAWA into the world of socially, environmental and mindful architecture. Since then Ed has grown SAWA, into a collective of freelance professionals and pro-bono network of supporters. The structure is flat it has no no hierarchy, we discuss each project openly and define relationships, roles and exchanges on a project bases, to meet it's the specific needs and constraints. We collaborate with a range of community groups, individuals, charities, private businesses and professionals to deliver the best wholistic well rounded result fair to the environment and all. Ed realises the importance of a mindfulness approach to sustainable development, using nature as our teacher, and valuing a collective and collaborative decision making process for a grounded and successful project. 

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ARCSR Alumni Profile

What does your day to day role involve?

Designing, building and teaching environmentally and socially mindful architecture.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Helping people help themselves


Did you have to undertake any additional qualifications to get into your chosen career, if yes please describe your route

After becoming part 3 ARB Architect qualified, I did a PDC, Permaculture Design Course, it was a big eye opener in term of going further than sustainability to look at regenerative the environment for the benefit for all. Plus practising Vipassana Meditation has helped me considerably, bring mindfulness teachings into all that I do.


Do you think your ARCSR experience directly assisted you in obtaining your current role and career path?



What did you enjoy most about the course?

Freedom, to bring my own project to the course. The hands-on building and socially engaged aspects.


What are your professional ambitions?

To co-create a mindfulness community, which could become a learning centre and eco village to showcase how to live sustainably, regenerate the land, heal our hearts and minds, share in community wealth and inspire others live healthily and happily.


In your opinion, what are the essential skills for you career?

Mindfulness, hand drawings, computer drawing, photography, model making, carpentry, brick laying,

teaching, meditation, public speaking, presenting to small classes, pitching ideas.


If you are undertaking research, what sort of research is it?

Appropriate technology, e.g. compost heating, solar collecting etc, earth construction, bamboo construction, composting, passive solar design, passive ventilation,


What is your best memory of ARCSR?

I have 3:


1. Dancing with the coop at the Opening Ceremony in Rwanda for a House for a Victim. 2. Co-constructing + celebrating the pallet exhibition end of year show 3. Maurice old slides from his Sudan and Workshop Collective days.


What advice can you offer to new ARCSR students?

Have fun, enjoy the design process, make yourself happy, before pleasing the teachers, live your wildest dream!


And finally, tell us a bit about what you are currently working on at the moment.

Working on eco community learning centres farms in Thailand, Cambodia, Bulgaria and the US

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