Professional Practice
Architecture for All
I am not a new member here,This website is a community website for the Architect students, professional and related members.I want to ask simple questions from all of the members that, Do we are providing our services just for executive class? Can poor people afford us to have architectural design of there small home?
I want to have some comments from my friends who are involved in this field in this website
waiting for reply
Ahmed Muhammad
Architecture for All
Ahmed, I would say that unless an architect is completely self-centred, then it should be possible to create designs for the poor. However, there are several problems with architects designing homes for the poor. Firstly, the architect needs a business which is self-sustaining simply in order to live, so most architects will only be able to give some but not all of their time to designing homes for the poor.

Another factor to consider is that the more money there is available, the more individual the design. Whereas, with less money available, then it becomes "economic" to design and make lots of homes which are all alike and look like chicken-coops for humans.

My own idea for homes which meet the basic utility requirements and yet tailored for each and every family; is to put central utility cores (water, waste, power) onto empty plots of land and allow families to design and construct their own homes around the central utility core. The result would be rows of seemingly chaotic homes, but the mass-produced infrastructure of the "central utility core" would ensure a decent quality of life.
Frank John Snelling
Architecture for All
hello ahmed,
I had the same question when I just got out of the collage and started looking for a decent firm to work with the same thing in mind..!
And fortunately I got into one of such offices, it has been more than a year since I am into this..!
But as Frank said, its difficult to sustain your practice only on those small budget projects...!
I appreciate Frank's comment about the spontaneous development of habitats for lower income groups..!
I am still searching the answer...
because like all other fields, you need to compete, and your rivals would be making double the money you make without any struggle...!
its a difficult path to walk in..!!
Charmy Sony
Architecture for All
Charmy, One of the more interesting bits of data I have stumbled across in my wanderings through architecture is that Ancient Greek urban layouts (similar to Roman urban layouts) are based upon the principle of "insular" or islands (urban blocks) which are divided into equal sections, but usually built upon in a most chaotic fashion, so that each section has a different and individual design.

The implication is that the owner of a section of land within the insular plot could build anything and each design was a public statement about the owner in the same way as cars and clothes are today.

The point is that such a way of urban planning using my core utility principle could be used for poor people and in fact, has been done in Pakistan, because I can recall an article in an issue of the Mimar Journal where such a project was done; with basic utility lines plumbed-in (but without my utility core).
Frank John Snelling
Architecture for All
I have selected performing art and visual art center as my thesis topic,for this i have done the case study of NRITYAGRAM AND KALAKSHETRA(CHENNAI). For my presentation i require the site plan,floor plan,sections(any soft copy or autocad drawings,or images of plans),or any architectural drawings related to NRITYAGRAM AND KALAKSHETRA.Plz help me immediate
Ishwarya Maran
Architecture for All
In many post disater projects, I have seen that the poor have a long and sound tradtition in bulding their houses or get them built at the vilage level. Most poblmes come , when they start "modern" desings and methods, which they do not understand to handle propperly.
Normally it looks quite good what they do traditinally and they do not need architets ( and can aslo not afford to pay them) But what they need is a bit more know how to get rid of problems they have in their costruction, e.g. eathquake safety, cyclone resiatance, durability.
I think, it is even often difficult to improve their traditional layout, as it reflects their needs, capabilities and experience.
Norbert E. Wilhelm
Architecture for All
Norbert, I agree with you.

The infrastructure for DIY (Do It Yourself) building with modern materials is more usually found in developed countries rather than in developing countries.

In fact, the DIY infrastructure (tool hire shops, building materials supermarkets, etc) only really started to develop in Britain in the 1970s.

And I can recall in the late 1980s that there was growing movement in Britain for "Self-Build" homes, which had enough enthusiasts to allow for a "Self-Build" magazine.

In fact today there are TV programmes dedicated to self-build projects both for homes and holiday homes which meshes with the growing number of TV programmes for those working their way up the so-called "property ladder" by buying a property (usually with a mortgage from the bank), doing-it-up themselves, sell and then buy a larger property to do up, etc.

Or, perhaps the method used in Turkey would be better. There a "co-operative" or group of people pool their money, both to buy a site and then pay a builder to build one or more shell buildings in the form of blocks of flats.

I say "shell buildings" because the basic structure is built by the builder and then the individual members of the cooperative finish off the inside (plastering the walls, laying floors, installing the kitchen, etc) and either live in their new flat or sell.
Frank John Snelling


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