Thimmaiyanadoddi, a small hamlet of basket weavers located just outside the town of Anekal in Karnataka is home to about a hundred residents. Originating from the tribe Iruligas, the village has resided here for the past fifty years as farmers. The rural landscape, a mixture of cultivated fields and forest creates a picturesque backdrop for community. The name of the village came from Mr. Thimmaiah who taught the villagers how to weave, giving them a new direction in bringing income to their families.
Despite previous aid from the government and NGO’s, the community still needed some help to motivate them to take responsibility for their own village. The village was approached by a close knit group of socially minded architects who expressed a desire to help out.
The first hurdle would be to convince the residents that some help in development would benefit their village. Thankfully the proposal was met with keen interest and a willingness to participate to bring about positive change.
The poverty of the village was clearly seen in the state of the houses. The poorly constructed structures showed no adherence to any traditional rural construction practices. Apart from dilapidated housing, the village as a whole unit lacked basic amenities. There was no drainage system and no toilets built in the village.
The intervention would require a multi-approach methodology –
Interact – With the local community for an understanding of cultural usage of space, cultural beliefs and sensitivities.
Collaborate – With the government, NGOs, self-help groups, international agencies, banks, institutions, corporates, and individuals for financial and non-financial help.
Engage – The architectural community for research and development of alternative materials and construction methodologies and volunteerism.
Derive – Specific, local, eco-friendly, long lasting and cost effective design solutions.
Help Construct – Housing and rural infrastructure in a holistic manner.
Much planning and ideation would be required from the team as they began the alliance with the community to bring about positive change.