Ar. Vinu Daniel
Climate-Responsive Architect / TED Speaker / Founder, Wallmakers
Vinu Daniel completed his B. Arch in 2005 from The College of Engineering, Trivandrum, following which he worked with Auroville Earth Institute for the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Post-Tsunami construction. On returning from Pondicherry in 2007 he started ‘Wallmakers’ which was christened thus by others, as the first project was just a compound wall. Many eye-openers in the course of his practice prompted him to resolve to devote his energies towards the cause of sustainable and cost-effective architecture. With a practice, spanning over more than a decade, Wallmakers has won many international accolades including being selected by ArchDaily as the only Indian practice in the list of 20 Young Practices of 2020, winning 3 editions of the Design that Educates Award conducted by the Laka Foundation-Germany,being nominated for the Brick Award 2022 and The Royal Academy Dorfman Award 2022 to name a few. In April 2023, he presented his well received talk, “The beauty of building with mud and trash,” at TED2023.
Amidst the current Global climate crisis, it becomes all the more important to question the direction in which we humans, as a race are headed. In the place of questions like “What should we build?”, queries like “Should we build?” should become more relevant. And in facing the inevitable situation where we must build, the need to use materials that has already become an environmental hazard in the place of fresh material has become the need of the hour. At Wallmakers we believe in understanding and using materials easily available from a site or in building with waste, which led us to research and develop techniques such as the Debris Wall and the Shuttered Debris Wall. At Wallmakers, the aim is to build sustainable spaces that are responsive to specific site contexts and conditions, while maintaining a balance between innovative, utilitarian designs and creating contextual dream-like spaces.