A TALK ON LAURIE BAKER AND HIS VISION ON SUSTAINABILITY
When I worked with Laurie baker in 1984, the term sustainability did not exist. During the 70s and 80s environment was the term concerning the natural environment. I was lucky to get placed under him when he was 67 years old since many had not made of this opportunity. I was the fourth person to work with him. When I met him accidentally, I approached him and asked if I could spend time with him. Though I was not an architect. I had always admired him for the person he is and his works. I never thought I will be able to design buildings or reach this position when I joined him. I just wanted to spend two or three months, learn his way of working as he was very innovative. He was not very famous then. That's how I got the opportunity to learn his principles. And what I am today is because of him and what I practise today is mostly inspired by following his principles. I interacted a lot with him during the nine months that I had spent with him, which was a very high-quality time. Though I did not know the basics of architecture I could learn it from him in a completely different way, not the way it is being taught in any architecture school.
Many of the architects in the present generation may not know him, they might see him as a person who did exposed brickwork. But he was a person who practised what he believed in. He always used to wear Khadi shirts and Khadi dresses. Architecture for him was the same whether he designed for the poor or rich. The statement that he made symbolises his overall philosophy.
"I would rather see a million houses that are only 200 sq.ft made of mud and thatch than one more high rise building even if it were necessary.”
Watch the full video to listen to my talk on Laurie Bakers life, his career, and his vision towards sustainability.