Architect Benny Kuriakose is planning a Summer Internship Programme for students of architecture and design. Similar programmes have been conducted in past for students which have focused on vernacular architecture and sustainability and students from countries such as England, Ireland, Poland, Slovenia, Italy, Germany, France etc, have participated in the same.

Following are the details of the upcoming programme:

Topics Being Covered
The following have been the topics of different workshops in Dakshinachitra. These workshops used to last for three to four days.
  • Vernacular Architecture
  • Tradtitional Materials and Techniques
  • Conservation
  • Sustainable Architecture

In addition to the above, the following topics are also being added as part of the program

  • Disaster Management
  • Cost Effective Techniques in Construction
  • Housing and Different Approaches
Themes of the Program
  1. How to improve the urban public spaces in Indian Cities?
  2. How to make the buildings in India more sustainable? The green buildings which are coming up in India are not sustainable and have become more of a marketing strategy. Can we think about an alternative?
Main Features of the Program
  1. The aim of the internship is to expose the students to the different practical aspects of the architecture.  Ar. Benny will be sharing his knowledge and expertise which he has gained during the last more than 25 years with the interns.
  2. There will be some lectures, discussions, training sessions etc. during the internship programme. There may be invited guests who may be asked to give some lectures etc.  This will be a structured programme which will take a holistic approach towards built environment. Even issues like livelihood development, sustainable development etc. will be discussed.
  3. The intern will be given exposure to the various aspects of the work in an architectural office. In the process he/she also does some work and gets involved in the different projects. Site exposure including some outside visits, measured drawings etc. are being planned. The program works on the principle, it is easy to educate the motivated people, but difficult to motivate the educated people.
  4.  During daytime, the work in the present office will have to continue. The normal day of an intern will consist of field visits or working on a live project or working on some assignments done as part of the program.  There will be some discussions on the various aspects of the work in the evening. Everything is disussed openly so that everybody comes to know about the different projects. The office starts working in the morning itself and discussions etc. may continue late in the evening.
  5. There will be lot of opportunities for the sharing of information and it will be open for participants and guests to share their knowledge on previous projects and related topics. We will have a LCD projectors in the office.
  6. It is better that the participants bring their own laptops, although few laptops may be provided by the organiser.
  7. Every intern have to stay a minimum period of four weeks. Those who want to stay longer can always do so. All the different topics shall be covered if an intern spends a minimum of six weeks.
  8. It will be quite sunny during the summer months and the maximum temperature will be around 40 degrees Celsius. It is humid too being a close to the ocean so all participants are requested to come prepared accordingly.
Number of Students

A total of about 15-20 students will be taken and preference will be given to the senior students since the youngsters can apply for the future internship programs. I am looking for students who are really interested in learning and motivated about new aspects.


The summer vacation is at different times for different colleges. The tentative dates for the internship is from 1st June, 2012 to 31st July, 2012. Final dates will only be based on the summer vacation of the participants. So while applying for the program, participants are requested to plaese indicate the vacation dates of the respective college / university.


No fees are being charged for the internship program and no stipends are being offered to any of the participants.

Accommodation and Food

There is no external funding for the internship program and hence the intern will have to make their own arrangements for food and accommodation. Lunch to all participants will be served in the office. The actual expenses for the field visits will be reimbursed. The participants of internship programme will have to pay for their travel to and from Chennai. The organiser may be able to help the students who are not able to find the accommodation of their own.

How to Apply?

Those interested are requested to Please send the timings each intern would like to spend along with a CV. Also send a 300-500 word essay describing either of the topics mentioned below:

  1. Why did you take architecture as your profession? OR
  2. Write about the historic part of the town or village you are living? What is your reaction to the changes happening to the built environment?

He/She can send the portfolio, but it is not a must. Please indicate the dates of your school vacation and how long you are planning to spend on the program.

Last Date of Application
15th April, 2012 will be the last date for receiving applications and the participants will be informed before 20th April, 2012.
Benny Kuriakose - Profile

Benny started his career in 1984 and received the basic lessons in architecture under the tutelage of Laurie Baker. The Charles Wallace India Trust Award that he received in 1986 took him to the University of York, UK, to do an MA in Conservation Studies. On return he worked in Kerala till 1991 doing projects on cost effective techniques, and even returned to his village to design furniture. He started practicing architecture again in 1993 during which period he designed many residences. 1994 was a landmark year when after the earthquake in Lattur he was commissioned by the Malayala Manorama to design the rebuilding of Banegaon village.

1996 brought him to Chennai as the designer for the Kerala buildings and the public buildings in Dakshinachitra on the East Coast Road to Mahabalipuram. The extraordinary project of transplantation of old buildings to sites juxtaposing new ones was a challenge that spurred him on to set up an office in Chennai, and this was the opportunity that helped him build his repertory of projects and live out the philosophy of his work.

For more information please go to

Following are the links to some of the documentaries by Ar. Benny Kuriakose

Where to Contact?

Those interested  in the programme are requested to contact Ar. Benny Kuriakose on following:

Phone: +91-44-24642941 / 24614794

First Floor, 53,
Vasantha Avenue, MRC Nagar,
RA Puram, Chennai 600028.