Change is inevitable: Builtspaces in the Himalayas
Image source: Anees Muhammed, alamy stock photo

Kathkuni is an art of structuring the habitat and a way of life in certain parts of the Western Himalayas. It was based on localized needs, available construction materials which reflected local traditions. It evolved over time and was the pure response to particular building needs because it was crafted by the individual or society using it. Now the building practices have transformed, but not justifying the efficiency of Kathkuni which is required by the people here. While practicing in Himachal we feel a big gap in changing people’s needs, climate, way of living, and availability of materials compared to the current building construction methods. The traditional method was deeply rooted with stones and woods, but as the government has imposed a law for the restriction of cutting trees, people have started buying these materials from neighboring states or exporting with a higher cost of transportation. This course will try to find an alternate building construction technique that can be used instead of the traditional method which will be cost-effective and sustainable and fulfill the aesthetic, functional, and sociological needs of the people living in hills.

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