Monday, January 28, 2008

Indigenous skills

A Temple restoration in Tranquebar needs skills in brickwork of a high order; a Heritage conservation plan for Chettinad needs skills in lime work, wood work and much more; a revitalisation of the Buddhist sites in Orissa needs stone workmanship of excellent quality.

The master artisan is the one who can make meaningful contributions having spent years of apprenticeship to acquire these skills.

In contemporary India, this tacit knowledge of building skills needs to be codified or transformed into explicit knowledge in order for it to become a part of the formal architectural education system.

In a recent article in 'India Together' i discuss the importance of Codifying indigenous ways of building and the directions we can take in documenting skills and vernacular buildings.

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