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Laurie Baker - Lessons Learnt and Their Relevance

June 11, 2021, 6:30:00 PM

In this video, Dr. Benny Kuriakose discusses his educational experience with Laurie Baker. He discusses the design of Laurie Baker homes; the distinctiveness of Laurie Baker construction methods; the shaping of Laurie Baker designs; the role of Laurie Baker brick works in design; the model structures he created for COSTFORD; and the use of concrete as a design element in his structures.

He starts the talk by quoting Laurie Baker's words: "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 is necessary." He added that this single quote by Baker would define who he was and what his ideology was.

He talks about the early life of Laurie Baker and how the seeds of architecture were sown in him,his schooling and graduation. He refused to join the British army and was an exception to the rest of the people of his age. He was sent to China for missionary activities in remote villages. He also had a chance to meet Gandhiji, which was a turning point in his life. He was sent to India on a mission to convert old houses into hospitals. For over four decades, Baker channelled his principles of simplicity, minimalism, and individuality to design low-cost, high-quality, visually unique, and energy-saving houses. He rejected imported materials and replaced them with local, cheap, and renewable ones.

The philosophy of architect Laurie Baker found roots and vision in the non-profit organisation COSTFORD (The Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development), which was founded in 1985. Dedicated to changing the social, economic, and political positions of marginalised or disadvantaged groups in society, COSTFORD engages in various ventures, from environmental conservation to working towards uplifting the status of women.

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