Laurie Baker Centennial Celebrations

At the launch of the Laurie Baker centenary celebrations in 2016, Kirtee Shah, founder-president of Inhaf, was invited to give the keynote address. While doing so, Laurie Baker was presented as a visionary who understood the wider sustainability challenge and incorporated it in his work in the framework  of  the needs of the India’s masses — “in a manner of speaking, Laurie Baker was to Indian architecture what Mahatma Gandhi was to India’s freedom struggle” — analysed contemporary architecture practice and architecture education and presented a framework to contextualise the role of the architect in addressing present and future human settlements development challenges in India.        

As a member of the committee appointed by the Government of Kerala to celebrate this centenary, Kirtee Shah also suggested an elaborate programme to reach the message of Laurie Baker in creating people focused, locally based, sustainable architecture.

The profession of architects, facing a perception of disconnect with the wider societal and sectoral challenges and leadership issues needs someone like Baker to fill the gap. India and the world is facing many challenges on sustainable settlements, and have much to learn from his work, teachings, philosophy and practice.