He has written several books. They are published by Center for Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD). His books are very much like his designs, simple, sensible and elegant. First in the series, is this book titled "Laurie Baker's Mud".
[N]ational census will show you that numerically, there are more houses in India made of mud than of any other material. So why have we stopped using it? Actually, we have not stopped using it.Many rural families and many of our poorer people still build with mud-but official or Government housing schemes rarely use it and our growing 'Middle Class' also rarely uses it.
[W]e seem now to be much more class conscious and mud is connected in peoples minds with "the poor", with "Poverty", with cowsheds and pigsties, with Rural EWS Schemes and so on. Who will marry my daughter if I live in a mud house ?
So I wanted to show that mud may be old fashioned. (that to me is a plus point - it has been tested and tried over thousands of years whereas concrete has been in circulation for less than a hundred years), but it could be successfully used even for the best houses, and indeed, if all of us are to go into the 21st century with a roof over our 700-800-900 million heads we will only be able to do it if we put mud back into its rightful status. So this book is to see how we can go about it.
Laurie Baker certainly knows his mud. He explains how mud can be used effectively to build elegant houses. His explanations are simple and are often accompanied by sketches. Provides scientific explanations where needed. Before you know it you are at the last page.
One of the wonderful and endearing things about mud is that there is a vast wide range of muds and every single one has its own individual characteristics. All of it is God made and not machine made. So it is not standardized, and it is almost limitless is quantity. Therefore to many, especially to the engineering world, it is maddening rather endearing because you have to get to know your own mud and how to handle it. all ladies have beautiful eyes and bewitching hair and shapely lips but ideally you have to learn to live with, love, cherish and understand your own particular woman.
Treat your mud as you should treat your wife and you will have a wonderful house for life!
Class consciousness makes us shortsighted many a times. In Kerala, sand mining the river beds to build our monstrous socially acceptable concrete houses are drying our rivers dead. We build our concrete houses and end up buying energy hogging air conditioners to cool these concrete ovens we call houses.
Isn't it high time we strengthened our basics? Harmony with nature and building with locally available and sustainable material. Mud certainly can be part of that equation.