British Council Hosts ‘The GREAT Talk’ in Mumbai

Anjani Chaand updated on : 10 Mar 2016
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Winner of prestigious Laurie Baker Award, Architect Eugene Pandala inspires young students with his GREAT Talk- ‘Affordable Sustainable Buildings’

Architect Eugene Pandala

The British Council today hosted The GREAT Talk in Mumbai with Architect Eugene Pandala, who delivered an enthralling lecture titled ‘‘Affordable Sustainable Buildings’ at Balwant Sheth School of Architecture, NMIMS, Mumbai.

The GREAT Talk is a multi-city initiative aimed at motivating young Indian students to plan their careers effectively by interacting with eminent UK speakers. The platform offers students a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand their horizons, meet with prominent speakers and explore new career directions.

Commenting on the GREAT Talk initiative, Sharon Memis, Director West India, British Council, said, “The UK has a global reputation for excellence in education and skills thanks to academic and research institutions that are among the world’s best. These institutions are engines of ideas, knowledge-creation and innovation and have been driving impact globally. That's why our alumni go on to succeed in almost any field you can think of whether Nobel-Prize winners, Oscar-winning directors or Olympic gold-medalists. The GREAT Talk series brings these inspirational people to meet young minds and create opportunities for new ideas and thinking.”

At the GREAT Talk in Mumbai, Eugene Pandala, delivered an inspiring lecture on how by use of traditional sustainable building methods and techniques to control climate, it is possible to have a major impact to reduce energy use. He elaborated that due to global warming, the sea level is rising and disasters are increasing. Moreover, there is a growing challenge to conserve drinking water of our planet and every one of us should be responsible and contribute efforts to mitigate global warming. In this fascinating talk, Pandala gave details on how the solutions to reduce global warming and energy conversation offered worldwide and regionally by certification agencies are unaffordable to the common man, who constitute more than ninety percent of the population. Further, he shared details of the traditional technologies in practice all over the world, giving us insights into affordable and sustainable ways to build. 

Eugene Pandala said, “Talking about a subject so close to my heart at The Great Talk has been nothing short of an exceptional experience for me. I believe global warming is one of the biggest threat to mankind and being able to talk to students about affordable sustainable buildings as a way to counter that is very gratifying.  It is very important that future generations are made aware of exactly how their choices can help diminish the consequences of global warming. I hope that through my talk, I have been able to encourage them in the subject of Urban Design and Heritage Conservation and the importance of building with values of environmental sustainability. I believe the UK Education nurtures students’ curiosity and offers a plethora of specialised courses to those who are looking to make a mark for themselves.”

Eugene Pandala is an Indian architect known for building with environmental sustainability. His works are highly contextual and distinctive to the environment they are situated in. Exposure to traditional building techniques, an interest in sustainable ways of living, love for nature and a general passion for natural building materials, has amalgamated to form Eugene’s architectural thinking and has led him to explore traditional technologies using natural materials. He is actively involved with Cultural and Natural Heritage conservation. He studied Masters in Urban Design from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and has completed Fellowship in heritage conservation from UK. He was the founding head of the second oldest Architecture school of Kerala. He was involved with many important Government funded urban design and heritage conservation projects including Trivandrum East Fort conservation, and Fort Cochin Renewal and Beautification project. His designs of hamlets for the rehabilitation of tsunami victims done at Kollam and Alapuzha Districts of Kerala, for the leading Daily Malayala Manorama, was widely appreciated due to its interwoven complicity with nature.

His work, reflects the energy to document and preserve our heritage, not only in the form of measured drawings and photographs, but through research and engaging with traditional technology that has depended on local resources and has withstood the test of time. Providing affordable sustainable solution for the built environment is the challenge he has taken up so that the economically weaker section of the population, who account for more than two thirds can also construct and live in sustainable houses. In 2011, the Lalit Kala Akademi conferred him the first Laurie Baker award for his continuing work in sustainable cost effective buildings.

The ‘GREAT Britain’ Campaign

The ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign (“GREAT”) is a strategic international marketing programme designed to promote the UK to business, tourism and student markets worldwide in order to enhance the country’s global reputation and deliver long-term economic benefits. GREAT was officially launched in February 2012.

  • For world class education and training, with more than 30 of the world’s top 200 universities, choose the UK
  • International graduates of British Universities significantly improve their career prospects and earning potential. Study in the UK and enjoy the rewards
  • For a world class teaching experience, with 92% of postgraduate students in the UK rating the quality of teaching positively, study in the UK
  • For the highest number of top MBA courses in Europe and one of the best places to study business, choose the UK


The British Council

The British Council is recognised across India for its network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.

We also manage prestigious scholarships and training awards, including the Jubilee scholarships, the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and the Charles Wallace India Trust awards. Our English language centres in Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata provide a range of general and business English classes, specialised skills based programmes and young learner courses. We work with a wide range of Indian partners in cities all over India enabling British and Indian experts to meet and collaborate and to nurture mutually beneficial relationships.

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