I'm a 3rd year student and currently researching straw architecture. Any suggestions on where I can search for information on this subject would be appreciated. Are there any contemporary designs that make use of straw?
Rudy, Straw bales are used for walls. And straw could be compressed to form insulating panels. Barns packed with straw bales have been known to generate such heat as to catch alight and burn. Plus, straw has been used in the past in "hot boxes" to cook food.
NOTE: "Straw Bale" today usually an oblong of compressed straw bound with wire and made by a combine harvester.
Plus, of course, straw or reed bundles were and are traditionally used as thatching materials to roof homes.
Frank John Snelling
Rudy, straw architecture is a relatively "new" term. However, straw has been abundantly used as a reinforcing material in mud houses. This has been done by mixing straw in wet mud, and then constructing mud houses out of it. This has been, and still is a common practice in the rural Pakistani and Indian villages, especially the Punjab.
This is some brief information, which might be of little help to you in your research. You can also check sites and books on the subject of "Mud Architecture" since straw and mud have always been coherently related to each other.