Laurie Baker- A tribute

Jun 5, 07

“I have my own principles, which I am unwilling to abandon. I dislike falsehood and deceit. A building should be truthful” Laurie Baker

Laurie Baker, architect and humanist passed away recently. Today, when everybody is waking up to the effects of ‘global warming’, Laurie Baker lived and practised ‘eco-conservation’, recycling, using locally available resources and eschewing wastage through the buildings he created.

Some of the principles he lived by are worth reflecting as consultants and practising professionals.

Understanding your client / customer

“First, of course, is that I want to get to know my client and what is in his mind. If he merely wants to show off or flaunt his wealth, I don’t take him on. Otherwise, I enjoy getting to know him (or her, a family, an institution or even a Government department).

And I have to always keep in mind that it is they who are going to use the building and not me.”

The entire interview can be read

Some of his other principles he lived by included:

  • Get your conscience out of deep-freeze, and use it
  • Look closely at your prejudices and question them
  • Have faith in your convictions and have the courage to stick to them
  • Make ‘low-costery’ a habit and a way of life
  • Keep your knowledge up-to-date
  • Don’t do what is not necessary
  • Above all, use common sense
  • Trim your staff, drawings and equipment
  • More on his work can be found at this tribute

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