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Topic for Debate
 
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
Laurie Baker passed away on 1st april 2007 at the age of 90. He left behind a legacy of knowledge and style of work which is unique. Now the question is what will happen to low cost rural architecture? What future does this field have? Who will contribute to the society in the same selfless manner as this great fellow has contributed?

I think the world requires many more Laurie Bakers for the development of architecture and society. Views are invited in the respectable memory of this great man.
Rahul Dixit
Responses
 
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
There are many architects and organizations such as COSTFORD etc. which follow the principles laid down by Laurie Baker. I think his principles and ideals will be carried forward. But still the gap left by him will be there, and there is nobody to inspire the young architects. It was good that Laurie Baker did not have any inhibition in sharing what he knew with others. He has written a few books and worked closely with COSTFORD, thereby exposing many to his architectural principles. Society needs many more Bakers and the future of these is in the hands of the younger generation.
Benny Kuriakose
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
True,
Daddy's contribution to the nation will remain unparalleled.
He can only be followed, not replaced.
COSTFORD is his contribution to society; and it really has a huge role to play so that Baker's vision and philosophy continue to strenghthen and preserve the quintessence of Architecture.
P Das
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
Rahil, Baker's work is not about "low-cost." It's about "cost-effectiveness."
In fact, Baker's is an entirely separate school of thought and a philosophy; and his principles are equally valid in fields which have no relation with Architecture!
P Das
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
A leading newspaper business standard [FT] editorial paid very high respect to the genious of Laurie Baker. If possible, later I shall put a link here for all to share.
Dushyant Nathwani
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
Laurie Baker contributed much to the architectural field. He didn't give importance to the money he earned and he had a lot of experience with the people. He worked sincerely in the profession. His appreciation of Architecture was sensible. He never started and worked in an office setup as is common today. There are many others who want to make money with this trend of low cost technology. To be like him, we have to learn to be sincere in the profession.

Prof.Abraham
Abraham Samuel
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
I'm a Habitat for Humanity Int'l (non-profit affordable-housing homebuilder) volunteer in the U.S., and I'm curious what Laurie Baker followers would make of his modern, more commercial "descendants" -- those doing low-cost, high-efficiency housing for a profit. I'm thinking, specifically, of Moladi in South Africa, which employs a re-usable plastic formwork; there's little "cultural life" to the product, but as pure housing, it seems reasonable. More at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moladi and http://www.moladi.com/index.htm

Chris Goodrich
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
Unfortunately, to do a proper low-cost building (cost-effective building), one has to have higher knowledge. Cost reduction by elimination is easy to do, but to reduce the cost without affecting the performance is not easy to do. This is what Laurie Baker did.
Most of his followers are very young. Baker did not have two different styles - one low cost and another conventional. Many of the others do both conventional and, if some clients want, low-cost also. Baker has done only 2000 buildings, but there are more than 20000 buildings using his principles in Kerala, which are being done by the young architects and engineers. The movement is quite safe in the hands of youngsters. They work on site without any office, etc., and they are sincere also. Many of them might not have the talent of Laurie Baker, but whether Baker is dead or alive, he is the inspiration for all of them.

I do not think money making is a sin or something bad. You can do low-cost buildings and still earn money. Earning money should not be the sole criteria, one should have social responsibility also.
Benny Kuriakose
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
In his times, Mahatma Gandhi influenced Laurie Baker to do sustainable buildings using only materials available within a five mile radius of the site. That formula holds water any time and place for sustainability; let us remember him for that.
Dushyant Nathwani
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
I agree that Laurie Baker earned a lot of goodwill, praise and well wishes rather than money for his work. He will always live in our memories as a great architect who showed rare human qualities of compassion and willingness to contribute for the good of society.
But his method of working right on site rather than in the traditional office setup is not suitable for very large scale projects like housing for displaced people, etc. So proper research needs to be done through which his philosophies and techniques can be applied to very large scale projects also.
Today's world needs to use his philosophy on a larger scale, as it can make the living of even poor people reasonably comfortable. It can also provide poor people with their right to appreciate good architecture and aesthetics in their own houses. This right is so far unfulfilled for all the poor and even for middle income people in some cases.
Rahul Dixit
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
Just came across Benny's comment on the topic.
I truly agree to his point that money making is no sin. In fact, the cost-effective construction technique and design approach must be "commercialized". Unless the people involved can secure a decent earning for themselves, the idea will not survive very long in a world that is constantly moving towards an era of global capitalism.
P Das
Laurie Baker-The father of low cost architecture of India
I would like to draw your attention to those organisations and architects who have been closely associated with "laurie baker"........
various BUILDING CENTRE's which had sprung in 1990's.... are the examples which can be looked upon.. almost everypart of India has got one..

Laurie baker building centre
Anangpur Building Centre
Nimriti Kendra

to name a few..........
Neha Rastogi
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