Architects in Bangladesh are usually involved in designing for well to do urban clients who represent a very small proportion of the countryís population. Most of the people are poor and live in the rural areas and it is rare for an architect to work with them. The rural population cannot afford or do not need architects for their modest needs. It is only when there are sponsored projects for developing rural communities as a whole that architects are involved. Such projects are few and far between and when they happen it is a learning experience for both the architect and the people. There is plenty of scope for innovation in design, construction, building economy and participatory approach in rural areas, which fall within the realm of an architectís terms of reference. The following are two examples of projects where the rural community and the architect worked together to develop each otherís capabilities and for the capacity building of the community. Minimizing cost was an important factor and both projects worked within a fixed budget.
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