is founder and director of Village
Renaissance. Joseph received degrees in Architecture
from the University of California at Berkeley and
the Southern California Institute of Architecture
with an additional degree in International
Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame.
Working with pioneers in
the field, he
has been at the forefront of ecological design and
construction for the past seventeen years.
Traveling and consulting around the world, Joseph
has participated in numerous building and research
projects. He co-designed a space station habitability
module for NASA; participated
in a National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored ceramic
house project: studied ancient stone towers on the
island of Sardinia with Earthwatch; and co-created
a site-built earth art project with Japanese
artist, Nobuho Nagasawa, in Prague, Czech Republic.
In addition he has been a principal designer for
the Tlholego Development
Project, an ecological teacher-training center
for basic needs in South Africa, where he helped
build several prototype structures based on ecological
design principles. Joseph has also designed several
homes in Southern California, and published drawings
and articles in numerous books and magazines.
He is co-editor of The
Art of Natural Building (New Society, 2001),
a contributor to Natural
Home and other natural building journals,
and frequent lecturer and workshop leader on the
topic. His most current book is Building
Without Borders: Sustainable Construction for the
Global Village (New Society, 2004). An associate
producer on The Straw
Bale Solution video, Joseph has also produced
a grade 6-8 curriculum about ecological design and
natural building entitled Homeward Bound .
In 1999 he undertook a nine-month research and teaching
tour that brought him to different innovative projects
in Argentina, Brazil, England, Ireland and South
Africa. He is co-founder and former director of
Builders without Borders
an organization dedicated to serving the underhoused
of the world. He currently teaches in the EcoDwelling
Concentration of New College of California's Culture,
Ecology and Sustainable Community Program
in Santa Rosa, California.
In 1986 Paul began to study the ecological design sciences and embarked on a series of educational tours and residence in the United States, Australia and Europe. He studied systems dynamics, focusing on its practical application in restoring whole ecosystems and building sustainable communities. Cohen served as an apprentice with world-renowned architects, including Nader Khalili of the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture, and Brian Woodward at the Earthways Sustainable Lifestyles Institute in Australia.
In 1990, Cohen founded the Rural Educational Development Corporation (Rucore), a non-governmental organization that promotes sustainable development in Southern Africa. The Tlholego Development Project (TDP) has been Rucore's major project thus far, and it serves as a model community and lifelong learning center for training people in ecological land use and village settlement.
Cohen is currently director of Village Development, an international design and development services consultancy that specialize in ecological village settlement and sustainable business development. He is certified in ecosystems design by the International Permaculture Institute and is a member of the Permaculture Academy of Australia. In 1997 Paul was awarded an Ashoka fellowship for his work as a leading public entrepreneur.
John Van Dyke
bio coming soon