Here's an interesting new idea:
By interfacing design software with a laser-cutting machine, architectural company Bell-Travers-Willson has come up with a way to quickly design and build customized homes with minimal effort.
So you design your home on a computer screen, and then computer software will process that design shape into a series of small wooden lego-style blocks, which can then be fabricated by a computer-controlled laser-cutting machine.
You can see those lego type blocks in the third and fourth pictures on the page. These hollow blocks are of a size that only one or two people are required to lift them. No cranes or heavy equipment are required, as a pile of these blocks can be transported to the site for lego-style assembly. So an entire house can be assembled just from these custom-made blocks -- even a large house like in the first photo.
India has a lumber industry, and there is a strong demand for affordable housing for the poor.
Indians like to brag about how much value they've added to businesses through the use of IT-enabled services. But has anyone really considered applying IT towards something as fundamental as providing shelter?