The eleventh of the CAAD lecture series had renowned conservation architect Ms. Kalpana from Chennai, who deliberated her experiences and memories on the topic “Tracing the history of Madras through built heritage”. This lecture materialised in a time when we all Chennaites geared up to celebrate the existence of its city as ‘Madras Week’ celebrations from August 16-23.
On June 25, 2018, CAAD- Chennai Academy of Architecture and Design hosted their 34th Monthly Public Lecture on “VERNACULAR PRACTICE AND THE COMMONS” by Ar. K. SUDHIR, Director, People’s Architecture Commonweal, Chennai.
The aim of the lecture was to make visible the relationships between customary rights to resources from the commons and livelihoods in a particular region, including those producing buildings; to document stewardship and regulatory practices adopted in the commons, to identify competing demands on them and the implications for the communities dependent on them. The lecture started with the focus on vernacular houses by highlighting the philosophies of Ar. Laurie Baker and his low cost construction techniques. With a collection of photographs, Ar. Sudhir explained the spatial relationship of traditional vernacular houses in the villages of Tamilnadu. By playing a short documentary about a village, “the Challakere taluk of Chitradurga district of Karnataka”, he moved on to a discussion about the current scenarios of how the life style of villagers are affected by different factors like social, political, cultural and economic conditions. Finally, he concluded by inviting the students to undertake studies of vernacular buildings familiar to them and the relationship of these practices to the commons.
The lecture was presided over by CAAD Director Prof. Vinodh Vijayakumar and CAAD Principal Prof. M C Ramesh Kumar.