Windows To Vernacular

" Vernacular is not a style it is a 'process' ; and it is not 'alternative' "

Architecture has become a professional academic course over the turn of the last century. Architects were only commissioned for large scale public projects. This arises a question as to what did the human population do before that. So many cities, civilisations came about. Did we have architecture as a course generating hundreds of qualified professionals every year?    

Interestingly the primary source of economy being agriculture and food gathering had the population live in shelters much suited to their context and environment they lived in. Its ironical, that we need nature to survive and have a sustainable life, but architects in the current era have seem to forget that. Do we as architects learn to forget fighting nature has never proved to be a positive move. We need to go back to our past and learn from the early settlers. They made shelters and ‘built environment’ in harmony with the context they lived in. An important reason why they worshiped nature.   

The built forms were a true response to the climate, soil, topography, geology, culture and their lifestyles. Materials were used that mother nature provided in abundance or was available locally in abundance. They always had a ‘sustainable’ way of life.    

We take this liberty here to replace the term ‘building design’ by ‘built environment’; its quite obvious we create micro environments the moment we create any built form; especially how we built it and most importantly where. It not only generates a micro-economy, but also a micro-ecosystem.  


A series of educational documentation and analysis project, focusing on the culture, craftsmanship and the traditional building processes and techniques from different parts of India. 

The project aims at:

Documenting the vernacular built environments.

Analysing the traditional cultures, tools and construction processes. 

Understanding the application of the traditional wisdom.

Learning the applications of traditional wisdom in contemporary structures; and

Spreading it to the masses.

Explore | Engage | Embrace

Akshay Kumar Varma - Founder

Akshay hails from Chandigarh, however, born in Delhi and brought up all over the country. Shifting across the country every two years, exposed him to understanding what ‘travelling’ really meant very early in life. After graduating from the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai in 2009, he went on to pursue a degree in Urban Design from Newcastle Upon Tyne University (UK) and has worked for a multinational consultancy firm for 3 years.


He considers himself a child in the fields of exploration, travel, and life. Learning about culture, people and the settlements is what drives him to different places. Akshay is always on the lookout for travel with a yearning to experience something different through every journey, where the destination is of no significance. 

He loves the mountains, old-school rock music, dogs and needs no reason to saddle up on his motorbike to wherever the road takes him.


Windows to Vernacular

Academy of Architecture; 278, Shankar Ghanekar Marg; Prabhadevi, Mumbai - 400025

+91 98201 42286

Drop us a line!