AR3411 Rural Habitat Design Studio Syllabus:

AR3411 Rural Habitat Design Studio Syllabus – Anna University Regulation 2021


 To create understanding of human built environment as a holistic, living entity from macro to micro scales, and shaped by geographic and socio-cultural forces as well as by historic, political and economic factors, through study of and design within the context of rural settlements.
 To enable a comprehensive study of rural settlement and architecture in order to understand them as exemplar of collective design that evolved through various parameters.
 To observe changes in the above, analyse their nature and causes for them.
 If required, to explore possible policy and physical interventions towards positive changes within the context studied.
 To enable design process that engages context and community.


Rural settlements offer an opportunity to understand basic aspects of human built environment and what goes into its making/ influences it. The interrelationship between built form and society will be studied, understood and established, starting from either end as required. Study of specific modes of rural/vernacular/traditional architecture including their morphology, local materials and construction techniques, details, meaning, etc., will be done to give an insight into the particulars and universals of architecture.

Appropriate tools and processes can be used to aid the understanding. These include different methods of historical and socio-cultural study, oral history, discussions, information collection, surveys, maps, perceptual sketches, documentation through drawings, demographic study, assimilation and analysis.

Transformations across time need to be traced to understand constants and dynamics in human society. They will also be critically evaluated through discussions with experts. Rising from this, future changes can be projected/ envisaged and if found required, policy and physical interventions can be suggested/ explored. The physical interventions found necessary will be taken up as design situations. This could range from individual to community level and involve any aspect of the physical environment (including building projects) as the situation/viewpoint warrants.

If the context does not warrant a building need, a small community oriented building design will be given as a separate project in addition to the rural project. For building projects, the scale and complexity of planning and construction usually involved will be simple – small or medium span, ground plus two storeyed maximum, simple horizontal and vertical movement, simple/ local materials and construction, passive energy.


 Ability to collect, assimilate and integrate knowledge in a holistic manner.
 Sensitivity towards the nature and values of unselfconscious and collective design as well as the interconnectedness of human society and environment.
 Ability to observe and analyse changes in the above.
 Ability to project future transformations and give possible/ appropriate ways to address issues, if any.
 Sensitivity in design approach in community oriented projects with respect to context, collective values and needs.


1. Amos Rapoport, ‘House, Form and Culture’, Prentice Hall, 1969.
2. Bernard Rudofsky, ‘Architecture without Architects’, University of New Mexico Press, 1987.
3. Rajendra Kumar Sharma, ‘Rural Sociology’, Atlantic, 2011.
4. Joseph De Chiara, Michael J Crosbie, ‘Time Saver Standards for Building Types’, McGraw Hill Professional 2001.


1. Ramachandran H, ‘Village Clusters and Rural Development’, Concept Publications, 1980.
2. Thorbeck D, ‘Rural Design’, Routledge,2012.
3. Hassan Fathy, ‘Architecture for the Poor’, University of Chicago Press, 1973.
4. R. C. Arora, ‘Integrated Rural Development’, S. Chand, 1979.