Christopher Charles Benninger, the well-known American architect who was living in India for the last 50 years and has many an architectural masterpieces to his credit across the world, said that Indian students need not go to the US to study architecture at MIT or Harvard.

Instead, they should spend 8-9 months travelling across India to see the country’s traditional architectural marvels and the materials used for their construction. He was delivering the keynote address at the ‘Beyond Square Feet’ lecture series organised by Asset Homes in Kochi as part of the World Habitat Day.

He said that after studying architecture in the US and spending around ₹50 lakh, one would usually settle down in the US ignoring the culture of construction, which is very crucial.

He added that after the WWII, the US gave up its own traditional architecture while copying the European architecture and said that architects should make use of the local climate, materials and labour force. For example, in Pune, India’s automobile hub, steel is available in abundance and hence, we use a lot of steel in constructions.

Sunil Kumar V, MD, Asset Homes, said that in over 700 crore people of the world, more than 160 crore of them are still in need of housing. Among the economically-backward people of India, there is a dearth of 2.5 crore homes while lower income group also lacks 3 crore houses.