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Meet the Architect Making Radical Affordable Housing—and Skilled Builders

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Indian architect Anupama Kundoo designs easy-to-assemble homes intended to teach occupants construction skills

"People often mistake this kind of work as vernacular, which is wrong," says Indian architect Anupama Kundoo of the simply-built affordable homes she's known for. "My approach is not about traditional building methods."

In fact, there's very little about Kundoo's practice that is traditional, from her 16-year stint living in and designing an experimental Indian city to her emphasis on creating low-cost homes that residents can build themselves.

In an interview with Disegno, the 49-year-old architect talks about her accessible and inexpensive building techniques, and how she emerged on the international stage, most notably with a hand-built recreation of her Wall House at the 2012 Venice Biennale. The home's arched roof made of nested wine bottles was a much-discussed highlight of the home's affordably built structure.

Currently working on her exhibition for the 2016 Biennale, Kundoo plans to exhibit a prototype home that can be built in less than six days, as well as a separate full bathroom that can be assembled in a single day. Called Building Knowledge, Kundoo's installation will focus as much on construction education as on the structures themselves.

The Biennale's director, Pritzker-winning architect Alejandro Aravena, who's also known for building affordable, innovative housing, invited Kundoo to exhibit by telling her, "(your design) carries the DNA of timelessness; and we would like to learn from those architects and projects that are going to stand the test of time."

High-Speed Housing Designed by Anupama Kundoo [Disegno]

2016 Pritzker Prize Goes to Alejandro Aravena, Chilean Architect Behind Innovative Affordable Housing [Curbed]