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Design & Architecture

Redefining Architecture and Climate Responsive Buildings

Our colonial mindset in architectural development is glaringly obvious. Around 70% of India lives in rural villages, of which 60% live in mud houses. Yet one will be hard pressed to find a school of mud architecture anywhere in the country, catering to this indigenous need. A notable initiative however is Laurie Baker’s philosophy and work in building design, that envisioned cost-effective energy-efficient architecture and structures that maximise space, ventilation and light; while maintaining an uncluttered yet striking aesthetic sensibility.
The looming steel and glass structures that have redefined urban Indian cityscapes and tech park clusters, are architectural cut-copy-pastes from the temperate countries of Europe and the USA.
The contemporary architecture we are exposed to today, sidelines the indigenous architecture of India, where the styles, shapes, sizes, and materials vary from region to region, depending on the climate.
In contrast to European classical architectural styles, can the study of indigenous architectural practices and materials be incorporated into the current syllabi? Is local architecture really as “backward and primitive” as it's made out to be? What part do cultural values play in reflecting the built environment, to provide a sense of identity for local communities? Can modern advances in architecture and building materials be enriched by the architectural styles and paradigms of indigenous local communities?
Join us in fostering a dialogue between architects and anthropologists, to explore how the fundamental use of space and place relates to the building materials and cultural meanings of vernacular dwellings, in urban and rural settlements.