Here's a crash course on what Laurie Baker stood for as an architect. The points below are verbatim as written by Laurie baker himself (Source-

  1. Only accept a REASONABLE BRIEF and one which you think you are capable of carrying through.
  2. DISCOURAGE EXTRAVAGANCE AND SNOBBERY and don’t take on a job which is either.
  3. Always STUDY YOUR SITE re soil, topography, water, climate and neighbours (nosiy temples, smelly factories etc.)
  4. See POTENTIAL SERVICES – water, drainage, access, power, fuel, phone etc. If not possible or available, what will you do?
  5. YOU, YOURSELF, GET ACCURATE DETAILS of the site with in-situ facts such as trees, rocks, a well, wind and rain directions.
  6. Every building should be UNIQUE. No two people, or families etc. are alike, so why should their houses be all the same?
  7. STUDY & KNOW LOCAL MATERIALS – their availability, performance, costs, techniques and workmen who know how to use them.
  8. STUDY & KNOW ENERGY used in the manufacture and transport of materials, avoiding using energy intensive materials where possible.
  9. BUILDING CODES ARE ADVISORY & NOT MANDATORY! Read the first chapters of our National Building Code.
  10. DON’T ROB NATIONAL RESOURCES and do not use them extravagantly or unnecessarily.
  11. Be HONEST & TRUTHFUL in design and material usage, construction, costs and about your own mistakes.
  12. Avoid OPULENCE AND SHOWING OFF and don’t use currently fashionable gimmicks.
  13. Get your CONSCIENCE out of deep-freeze and USE it. Let ALL YOU DO be honest & truthful – not only your buildings.
  14. Look closely at YOUR OWN PREJUDICES. Question them and see that if they are still justifiable.
  15. HAVE FAITH IN YOUR OWN CONVICTIONS & have courage to stick to them – but respect those of other people.
  16. Make COST EFFICIENCY your WAY OF LIFE – not merely “low cost for the poor”. Practice what you preach.
  17. Keep your INFORMATION & KNOWLEDGE UP-TO-DATE but make sure the latest ‘fashions’ are better than established ways before changing.
  18. DON’T DO THAT WHICH IS NOT NECESSARY. Explain this to your clients when you think their demands are NOT necessary.
  19. Above all use “COMMON SENSE” (I think you had better not ask ME what COMMON SENSE is) & have FUN in designing.
  20. TRIM your drawings, staff, equipment, travel & transport, paper and expenses.


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