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My Mentor Laurie Baker - Down to Earth

June 30, 2013, 6:30:00 PM

Dr Benny Kuriakose began his architecture career in 1984. He was one of the privileged few who worked under the tutelage of Laurie Baker, which involved both learning and unlearning. In an e-mail conversation with DISHA SINGH, Kuriakose, a Chennai-based specialist in low-cost housing, describes the pioneer architect’s methods and design philosophies. Kuriakose met Laurie Baker by accident when he was doing fieldwork for his final year thesis.

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“Baker was visiting one of the sites. I walked up to him and started a discussion, at the end of which I asked, “Can I work with you for two or three months?” recounts Benny. He added he was able to learn by watching Baker work and that Baker was open and explained whatever he knew in simple language. Further into the interview, when asked about the influence of Gandhiji on Baker, Benny replied, “Gandhi had a massive influence on Laurie Baker's design principles. He carried Gandhiji’s values of honesty and sincerity to the buildings he designed. He never covered a brick wall with plaster.” Read the published article here to know more!