An Honorary Lifetime Members is awarded to an individual in the earthbuilding industry by the Board of Directors of TEG with the following criteria. The person awarded this honor has contributed to the earthbuilding Industry in his or her lifetime in one or more of the following ways:
Advancement of Earthen Construction
1. Research related to better understanding of earthen materials
2. Development of earthen material technology
3. Advancement in earthen engineering
Service to the Community
2. Increase in public awareness and recognition of earthen construction
3. Charitable and social benefit work
Service to the Trade and Organization
1. Contribution to TEG as an organization
2. Work enabling and serving earthen tradespeople and professionals
TEG 2016 Honorary Lifetime Member – Simone Swan
Simone Swan has received recognition for initiating and managing a range of endeavors concerned with architectural and environmental concepts. Early in her career Simone established Withers Swan, a public relations agency in New York committed to public information on art, architecture, and the environment. Clients were museums and universities. She later served as founding director of the Menil Foundation where, beyond art endeavors, she initiated energy conservation and alternative energy programs.
In the 1970s, Simone apprenticed to Hassan Fathy, renowned environmental architect and author of Architecture for the Poor and Natural Energy and Vernacular Architecture, inspired by his use of earthen materials and his interest in reviving indigenous building techniques for owner-built cooperative housing.
In the late 1990s, Simone established the Adobe Alliance in the Big Bend area of West Texas in order to realize low-cost housing in the border region. After much local research on environmental climate and culture, she decided to target Presidio County, with a 37% unemployment rate. The Alliance has since constructed houses on both sides of the border that demonstrate the innovative use of earthen materials to create a new building standard for environmentally compatible, sustainable homes and communities.
Simone dreams of the day when the group erects a billboard advertising Adobe Immobile Homes in Presidio where trailers abound. She is invited to teach in Nepal, Colombia and Mexico.
TEG 2019 Honorary Lifetime Member– Jake Barrow
Jake Barrow, Executive Director of Cornerstones, has been awarded TEG’s Honorary Lifetime Member for 2019. The award honors his dedication to the preservation of our historic buildings, his significant contributions to the advancement of earthen construction, his service to the community, to the trade and to our organization, The Earthbuilders’ Guild takes great pleasure in awarding Jake our 2019 Lifetime Honorary Membership.
Among many other contributions he has spearheaded major adobe conservation projects in New Mexico, Arizona and California, and continue with Cornerstones Community Partnerships working to preserve historic buildings throughout the Southwest. He collaborated successfully with TEG in developing a training and certification program in adobe construction, and through offering volunteer and intern opportunities has shown great patience and perseverance in training the next generation of earthen builders.
TEG is honored to have the opportunity to acknowledge Jake Barrows’ achievements and to show him our appreciation in the form of this award,
Earth Block International
TEG 2020 Honorary Lifetime Member – Jim Hallock
For those who are reading this and do not know Jim, there are some things that you indeed should know. First, know that Jim is both a role model and, using the appropriate word, a hero to many in the earthen industry. He has worked tirelessly over decades to bring life and energy to the earthen construction industry and has mentored and guided countless aspiring earthen devotees both in the United States and around the world. His passion and vision have been an inspiration to earthen practitioners to both young and old, newbie and experienced.
As Michael Neuman put it “I know of no one who has done more to improve our understanding and use of earthen construction, to make earthen construction accessible to the communities that need it most, and to educate and inspire the younger tradespeople and professionals who will be carrying this work forward for generations to come. It is perhaps Jim’s compassion and kindness for others, especially, the disenfranchised and marginalized, though, which inspires me the most. He has invested countless hours and resources creating opportunities for earthen construction in Indigenous and other resource poor communities from the U.S. and Mexico to the Caribbean and Africa. He understands the power of an accessible technology like earthen construction to create a more just and equitable world. In Haiti, one of the poorest countries on earth, he is helping to raise building standards, while working to advance SCEB as an affordable, safe, and healthy building solution in communities there. I am aware of SCEB projects completed or in various stages of planning and implementation in nine communities across three departments in Haiti. Before Jim arrived in Haiti, there were none.”
Jim is indeed worthy of this award, TEG’s highest recognition of contribution to the earthen arts. We are humbled by his actions and his integrity and look forward to many more years of his contributions to TEG, to the earthen industry, and to the world.Jim’s company is Earth Block International.
Quentin Wilson & Associates
TEG 2014 Honorary Lifetime Member – Quentin Wilson
Born in 1943, Quentin Wilson made miniature adobe bricks at age 10. At age 27 he started repairing and building full-sized buildings ending up as a licensed construction contractor. Teaching weekend adobe and solar classes all along, he went full time at Northern New Mexico College and established their Adobe Construction Program at 52 and nominally retired at 67. His lifetime commitment to Adobes is deliberate and passionate.
Southwest Solaradobe School
TEG 2012 Honorary Lifetime Member – Joe Tibbets
Joe is a native of Southern California, who came to New Mexico in the late 50’s to attend the University of NM in Albuquerque. He spent summers back in California fighting fires on the Cleveland and Sierra National Forests, on Hot Shot Crews, which provided the means to pay his way through his University years. In those days, everyone had to serve in the military, and Joe was on board ship for most of his Navy service time, except for his attendance at the Illustrator/Drafting School at Port Hueneme, California. He recalls that he owes much of his current drafting abilities to that school which led to his first Earthbuilding job, as a draftsman for the Jim Schull Construction Company in North Albuquerque.
“Working with the Schull crew in 1965 was my first real taste of Adobe work” says Joe. “On that crew everyone tried to learn as many skills as possible, so that if anyone was sick, someone else could step in to keep things rolling”. Because I was in the office, I got stuck doing payroll on Friday afternoons and if someone didn’t make it to work, I’d be out nailing up decking or laying adobes with the rest of the crew. It was great work and very positive work and that helped my drafting, because I could see how the houses were built and then could draft them the way the crew understood them.”
Later in Tucson, Arizona, Joe landed a job with the University of Arizona Press. On the job director’s shelf was a book, still unpublished called “Adobe, Build it Yourself”, by P.G. McHenry. Says Joe, “They didn’t know how to put that book together, and because I was from NM, I talked them into letting me work with McHenry to help put it together”. McHenry’s book sold well and has been republished several times. That experience led the way to Joe starting Adobe News in 1973 and continued with his later magazine publishing on Adobe Codes, Adobe Today and Adobe Builder. The Earthbuilders’ Encyclopedia came along later in 1987 as a print book and became a CD for its second edition a few years later.
In 1994, Honduran architects and Engineers visited Albuquerque to see what all of the new interest was about concerning adobe. They wanted to build Adobe schoolhouses in Honduras, 101 of them to be exact. They had backing from USAID to pursue this task. Honduras has an old and respected adobe tradition. Joe was fortunate to head up a team of educators to ally with the Honduran Ministry of Education under Olga Mendes and with some of the leading architects and engineers in Honduras. The effort led to a series of week-long seminars in Honduras, using both adobe and compressed earth block. Says Joe, “we all learned as much from our Honduran neighbors as they did from us- it was a great time”.
Today, Joe spends most of his time drafting for Earthen construction. “Working up a good set of drawings for an earthen project is a big hurdle for many hopeful builders”, he says. “The need for less expensive drafting for smaller homes is very great right now, and more projects would get done if more plans were available”.