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Influence of Technology Climate and Culture in Architecture

June 4, 2020 at 6:30:00 PM

Talk by Dr. Benny Kuriakose
AH Lecture Series on Architecture Styles of India
Held on 9th August 2019
Presented by Architectural Heritage Division (AHD), INTACH

Building materials, traditional techniques, physical climate, society, and culture are some of the prominent factors which influence the architecture of a place. All these factors are interdependent also. Talking from the examples of the architecture from Kerala, Dr. Benny Kuriakose says that the social and cultural aspects determine the form of the house. The pitched roofs of Kerala were very predominant, but the arrangement of the rooms depended on the customs and cultural beliefs. The planning aspects of the traditional houses of a single caste used to be more or less the same but varied in size and with the houses of the people from the other castes. His talk covers how the climate, society, culture, etc have influenced the vernacular architecture and the way the different techniques and materials were used in the olden days.

Benny started his career in 1984 and received the basic lessons in architecture under the tutelage of Laurie Baker. After receiving the Charles Wallace India Trust award for an MA in conservation studies at the University of York, he has received his doctorate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Benny is known more for his work for the design of public buildings and the transplantation of the buildings in the Kerala Section of the craft village known as Dakshinachitra in Chennai. Major architectural works include the Muziris Heritage Project, the design of the tsunami-affected villages of Chinnangudi and Tarangmbadi in Nagapattinam District, the Alleppey Heritage Project, various resorts and institutions.

Benny has authored the INTACH book ‘Conserving Timber Structures in India’ and is a co-author of the book ‘Guidelines for the Preparation of a Heritage Management Plan’. He has offered his services as a consultant to UNDP, UNESCO, various State Governments, and other organisations.

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