Favorite Youtube Design Video 2020: Survival Builder



I first found these videos on social media and found them to be fascinating and addicting to watch. These two guys (plus a cameraman) from Cambodia design and build anything from two story houses with swimming pools to temples with water slides all using ancient techniques and organic materials such as bamboo, leaves for paint, ant colonies for cement, etc. They do it all with handmade tools, jars, and baskets. The two guys are usually shirtless with no shoes and showcase their primitive technology and skillsets.

Example project by Survival Builder[1]

The videos themselves are edited well using time lapse to show the continual progress of the project in the video. They are good about fast forwarding through the monotonous and tedious tasks and keep the viewer’s attention; when showcasing these tedious tasks such as filling a pool with water or lining the pool with cement, they show the first couple seconds of how the guys do it and then fast forward to the end result. This video format makes the videos addicting and I have found myself watching many of them in a row. There is a satisfaction aspect to them where you can see an entire project put together in a matter of minutes with this interesting primitive technology. They have this strange format where neither of the guys speak to one another but are constantly on the same page and working together. Both of them are extremely skilled in construction and aesthetics as well. They will go the extra mile (literally) to finish off the projects with bamboo decking, painting, etc to give the buildings a finished look.

[1] Pinterest. “Survival Builder: Building Beautiful Swimming Pools Around House Villa I… | Swimming Pools, Pool, Villa.” Accessed March 24, 2020. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/640637115727415239/.

[2] Building Temple Underground House And Water Slide To Swimming Pool. Accessed March 24, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo6NVNIK1Y8.

Previous Post
Design Review Pt. 2 – Rustic Ocean River Table
Next Post
Pipe Couch: How and When

5 Comments. Leave new

  • Why is it so difficult to find positive feedback on these guys? The craftsmanship and talent is remarkable. The techniques are valid and still used in many third world countries. I wonder more about the little details they leave off camera. For instance, how is the paint made? How long do these projects last? Are there additional steps necessary to make them something you could really enjoy for years?
    All I really need is a tropical island and about two dozen of these guys and I am set for life. Apocalypse or not, sign me up.

  • Denise Ibarra
    May 22, 2021 9:47 am

    Daniel, I’m pretty sure these are “staged” videos that use a team and more modern tools for production. That’s the reason you’ll only watch the first few seconds of a particularly arduous section—and also why they never talk to each other. They make hundreds of thousands in ad revenue. It’s meditative to watch, but certainly not a demo of primitive skills.

  • Daniel-

    I was actually about to do the same post, but then I saw yours. I really do enjoy this type of documentation, sped up properly at different stationary angles. It is truly amazing the type of things they can build with such minimal resources.


  • Christopher Lehr
    April 9, 2020 4:37 pm


    I am actually happy you put this up here! I have seen these videos online and always was amazed by them but didnt know the were a channel!

  • Hi, Daniel,

    This is an awesome video! I love the fact that the builder is using all natural materials to build out a space that looks rough but is super useful.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.