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Philosophy and Approaches

COSTFORD strives to change the social, economic and political position of the poor, the deprived, the oppressed and the weak. They believe in empowering and enabling the poor and weaker sections of the society to improve their living conditions by the application of appropriate and people friendly technologies adopting participatory, democratic, transparent and gender-sensitive processes.

COSTFORD believes in promoting non-commercial building practices, which discourage the necessity of a middleman and the commissions he takes in the process of construction. They believe in doing so by enabling the people themselves to understand the activities involved in the construction process, which breaks the architect-builder-material supplier nexus.

They believe in bringing a culture of truthfulness and transparency in the field of architecture, where all work gets completed as per the stipulated specifications and is not made deliberately cheaper quality or using a lesser quantity to earn a personal profit, as is usually the case with a contractor.

In all their endeavors they encourage people's participation, be it the planning or the construction process. They believe in designing spaces, which are context sensitive and take the inhabitants and their needs into consideration rather than applying a standard design to every household. In all their projects they try to work out as many different plan options as possible. They do not make very elaborate drawings. Most of the construction is based on sketches and not on pre-determined, elaborate designs made by Laurie Baker who prefers to allow innovations on-site made by the labourers. They even make models to explain their designs to the people if they do not understand plans sketched on paper.




download the world file of the report > part A