Nader Khalili



Educated in Iran, Turkey and the United States,?Nader Khalili was a socially committed architect, as much with sustainable architecture as with the need for emergency shelter for refugees. Since 1982 he researched on the possible uses of earth, inspired by Persian vernacular architecture. When the Iran-Irak war broke out, and in response to a NASA call for designs, he applied his theoretical plans for human settlements on the Moon and Mars, and this is how the ‘Super Adobe’ system was developed, a building technique requiring no wood and in which the war materials – barbed wire and earth – are reused for humanitarian purposes. The United Nations High?Commissioner for Refugees and the Development Programme applied this system to create residential solutions for victims of natural disasters or wars. In 1991, Khalili founded the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture (Cal-Earth), a non-profit organization devoted to research on sustainable architecture and to the dissemination of the Super Adobe system, for which the architect received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004.

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