Panelist Bios

Stefania Abakerli

Local Development Planner, World Bank, Washington, DC

Stefania Abakerli is an urban planner and architect trained in Brazil and U.K. with over 20 years of professional experience in the fields of participatory governance, local development planning, urban poverty, environmental stewardship and cultural heritage. Staff member of the World Bank since 2002, she has led the design and management of multisectoral lending and institutional strengthening programs mostly in Latin America and Africa. As the Coordinator of the Cultural Heritage Thematic Group in Latin America and currently in South Asia, she has contributed to advance the Bank’s current thinking and practice on the transforming role of culture in development effectiveness and poverty reduction. Prior to joining the Bank, she managed distinctive local development programs; undertook policy and action oriented research on urban poverty and culture and development; lectured on the sociology of city planning and management at University; and managed her own firm devoted to development planning of culturally-sensitive regions and low income urban settlements in Brazil.

C.R. Alimchandani

Chairman and Managing Director, STUP Consultants, Mumbai

Chairman & Managing Director, STUP Consultants P. Ltd., Mumbai, India, B.E. Pune University, standing 1st in 1957, studied in a course presided by Eugéne Freyssinet and obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Prestressed concrete in 1959 from France. President, The Institution of Engineers (India) 1985, Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering from 1987. Expert on Structural Design of Major Structures in Structural Concrete and Steel and diverse applications of Structural Concrete – especially Prestressed Concrete and Structural Steel. In 1967 he was awarded the ACTIM Medal by the Government of France as the best Alumni out of 40,000 scholars from all over the world trained by them in France.   He has been working with STUP Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai since its inception in 1963 and in 1975 became its Chairman and Managing Director.  He was awarded the FIP Medal in 1986 in recognition of work in Prestressed Concrete, one of 7 Gold Medals to invited Word Experts by the Japanese Construction Industry at the fib 2002 Congress at Osaka and the International Award of Merit in Structural Engineering by IABSE, Zurich in 2004 (normally awarded to one person a year) in recognition of his lifetime contribution in the development of Prestressed Concrete in 36 countries of Asia, Russia and Africa.  He was Vice President of FIP for over a decade and a Member of the Technical Committee of IABSE 1995-2003, Steering Committee of fib, Permanent Committee of IABSE, Chairman of IMC-fib and currently Member Technical Council of fib. The last will hold its Quadrennial International Congress in 2014 in Mumbai as a result of an invitation from the Institution of Engineers (India) and IMC-fib. Keynote and invited speaker at innumerable National and International Conferences and published articles in many technical journals and seminar documents.  He has received innumerable Indian Awards. Published and edited the FIP National Reports from 1974 to 1986 and 4 National Reports for the fib since the last 16 years and wrote the lead articles in them. Wrote, on a special invitation, the Editorial for the November 1996 Issue of Structural Engineering International – Journal of the IABSE,Zurich.  Under his leadership, STUP Consultants P. Ltd. have diversified into all disciplines of Structural and Civil Engineering and Architecture – the company now has a team of 1350 selected and well trained persons developed over half a century.  They work through 14 offices in 36 countries.  The company’s services are of the Highest Technical and Professional Quality that have been provided by an International Consultant so far in these countries.

Shigeru Aoyagi

Director, UNESCO New Delhi

Born in 1958, Mr. Aoyagi holds a Bachelor’s degree (1983) in International Relations from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and he has since pursued studies in Data Communication System with Brunel University, U.K.

From the onset of his career in 1984, Mr. Aoyagi has been associated with UNESCO. As Programme Specialist with the Asia Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) in Tokyo, he implemented activities related to promoting culture and education in and among UNESCO’s member states in Asia and the Pacific (1984-1991). He became Head of the Literacy Section of ACCU in 1991, and was responsible for planning and evaluating literacy programmes in Asia and the Pacific in close collaboration with the UNESCO Office in Bangkok, Education Ministries of the region, UN agencies and other partners (1991-1995). In 1995, he was appointed Director of the Education Division of ACCU, a post that he held until 2002. During this period, he was charged with managing the regional education programmes, specifically in the field of literacy and non-formal education, and designed the ‘Land Afghan’ project in collaboration with the Japanese government and UNESCO.

Mr. Aoyagi joined UNESCO Secretariat in July 2002, as Chief of the Literacy and Non-Formal Education (NFE) section within the Education Sector at Headquarters. In this capacity, he has supervised, managed and coordinated the section’s work within the framework of EFA, as well as its work on literacy and NFE for the four regional programmes for universalization of primary education and the eradication of illiteracy. He has also contributed to the adoption of the UN resolutions on the United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD) International Plan of Action, coordinated the EFA Flagship programmes on UNLD and the UNESCO-FAO joint programme on Rural People, and has worked on the launch of the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment at the international level and in the eleven first-round implementation countries.

Mr. Aoyagi was appointed as Director of UNESCO Office in Afghanistan in December 2006. Since then he has contributed to a great extent in the development of education, culture, communication and information related activities in the country. One of the main achievements of UNESCO in Afghanistan under the leadership of Mr. Aoyagi is the establishment of the Enhancement of Literacy in Afghanistan (ELA) Programme which has been providing literacy to the Afghans in the remote areas in 18 provinces. Mr. Aoyagi has recently been appointed as Director of UNESCO at New Delhi Office which he will join in the next couple of weeks.

Mihir Bhatt

Founder-Director, AIDMI

Mihir Bhatt works on community based disaster risk management research and pilots in six states of India and four neighboring countries with All India Disaster Mitigation Institute since 1995.  He recently reviewed his work in 37 Indian cities carried out over past ten years. Internationally recognized leader, thinker, advocate and practitioner in disaster mitigation, and humanitarian relief, Mihir is an innovative and entrepreneurial institution builder and leader. He conceived, founded and built the capacity of the pioneering All India Disaster Mitigation Institute NGO in disaster mitigation and risk reduction field over 17 years since 1995.He is influential and collaborative networker, active in promoting sustainable, pro-poor development policies and approaches, informed by practical community-based development experiences. He is on a wide range of international networks and Boards (Board member, the Commonwealth Foundation, member of numerous advisory and editorial boards in Asia, UK & USA). He is a versatile and experienced evaluator and reviewer across a broad range of humanitarian and development programmes for UN, INGOs, donors and governments in South and South East Asia. He is an Indian national, age 52 years, married, with two sons.  He studied at MIT, USA.

Amitava Bhattacharya

Founder-Director, Banglanatak, Kolkata

Amitava Bhattacharya, an engineer passed out of IIT Kharagpur and a Gurukul Chevening Scholar from London School of Economics, is a social entrepreneur. Amitava is the founder and full time director at banglanatak dot com. After working in global software industry for 10 years, Amitava created in 2000, specializing in communication for development (C4D) using theatre to achieve community led action.

Amitava led his team at banglanatak dot com to innovate ‘Art for Life’ (AFL), which is evolving as a proven model for alternative rural development using traditional art and culture. AFL recognizes traditional art and culture skill of rural and tribal community as ‘skill’, and then through skill development, providing direct market linkage and through exchange & collaboration, AFL looks at possibilities of socio-economic improvement and social inclusion of rural marginalized communities engaged with community art. In 2010, UNESCO accredited banglanatak dot com with consultative status to ICH Committee.

Vishaan Chakrabarti

Director, Center for Urban Real Estate, Columbia University

Vishaan Chakrabarti is the Holliday Professor of Real Estate Development and the Director of CURE, the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation. Trained as an architect, planner, and developer, Chakrabarti has transformed the Masters of Science in Real Estate Development into a curriculum dedicated to smart growth policies locally, nationally, and globally. Simultaneously, Chakrabarti is a senior consultant to the Related Companies, where he advises on the design and planning operations for the Moynihan Station and Hudson Rail Yards projects. In addition, Chakrabarti was the inaugural Jaquelin T. Robertson Visiting Professor in Architecture for the University of Virginia in 2009.

From 2002 to 2005, Chakrabarti served as the Director of the Manhattan Office for the New York Department of City Planning. While with the City, Chakrabarti successfully gained approvals for major rezonings that have begun to reshape the west side of Midtown Manhattan including the extension of the #7 subway line. In this role Chakrabarti also directed the City’s design response to the reconstruction of Lower Manhattan in the wake of 9/11, the expansion of Columbia University into Manhattanville, the makeover of Lincoln Center, the transformation of the High Line, and several other major development proposals in Manhattan.

Chakrabarti holds a Master of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Art History and Engineering from Cornell University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Architectural League of New York, is a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission, and is an emeritus board member of Friends of the High Line. He is also a member of the Young Leaders Forum of the National Council on US-China Relations. Metropolis Magazine named Chakrabarti one of the top 12 Game Changers for 2012. Chakrabarti is a David Rockefeller Fellow and was a Crain’s “40 under 40″ in 2000.

Carrie Yuet Ngor Lam Cheng

Secretary for Development, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government

Mrs. Carrie Lam has been appointed Secretary for Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in the Third Term of the Government since 1 July 2007.

Before assuming this politically-appointed position, Mrs. Lam was a career civil servant for about 27 years, rising to the highest rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade A1 in September 2006.

During her civil service career, Mrs. Lam had served as Director of Social Welfare from August 2000 to October 2003, overseeing and managing a HK$30 billion budget.  Prior to that, she spent seven years in various positions in the Treasury Bureau responsible for public finances.  Between 2003 and 2007, she was Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands (Planning and Lands), Director-General, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London and Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs.

Development Bureau is newly created in 1 July 2007 to oversee Hong Kong’s city development in a progressive and balanced manner.  Mrs. Lam’s portfolio covers city planning, land administration, urban renewal, infrastructure, water supply, building safety, heritage conservation, harbourfront enhancement, greening and landscape policies.  As Secretary for Development, Mrs. Lam is Hong Kong’s statutory Antiquities Authority.  Development Bureau’s policy objectives are delivered by nine executive departments with a total establishment of 20,000 civil servants.

Neelkanth Chhaya

Dean, CEPT, Ahmedabad

Neelkanth H. Chhaya has been a practicing architect and academic since 1977. His practice has emphasized the adaptation of built form to physical and social contexts, especially landform and landscapes. He is also deeply interested in the cultural factors that affect architecture, especially in societies of rapid change. His projects have won major national awards, and he has also won several architectural competitions.

In recent years, he has been involved in participatory rehabilitation housing projects as well as mass housing projects in urban areas. An interest in traditional and artisanal knowledge in the area of built environment is currently being pursued.

He has taught at the University of Nairobi, at the Institute of Environmental Design, Vallabh Vidyanagar, and at CEPT University, Ahmedabad where he is at present Dean of the Faculty of Architecture.

He has been a participant and/or Keynote Speaker at many conferences, including “The Architecture of Independence” (Asia Society, New York, 1997), Asian Reality Symposium (Taiwan, 2006), International Architecture Education Summit (Tokyo 2009, Madrid and Segovia 2011) and “Economy” conference (University of Cardiff, 2011).

His work has been exhibited at two special exhibitions “4X4″, and “Alternative Practices”, both at Mumbai.

P K Das

Architect, P K Das and Associates

P K Das’ priority has been to establish a very close relation between architecture and people by involving them in a participatory planning process. His firm P K Das and Associates’ wide spectrum of work includes projects in urban planning and design, architecture, interiors and social and environmental sectors.

With more than 150 projects to his credit, his current planning and architectural works include townships, industries, a stadium, museum, public places of historical significance, Mumbai’s waterfronts, holiday homes, clubs and resorts, schools and institutes, corporate offices and call centers, large-scale housing and individual residences.

Das is also actively involved in organizing slum dwellers for better living and evolving affordable housing models, engaging in policy framework for mass housing, reclaiming public space in Mumbai by developing the waterfronts, urban renewal and conservation projects.

He has been widely published and has also delivered talks and lectures across the world. His work in the development of Mumbai’s coastline and his slum rehab projects have won him several national and international awards including the first Urban Age award conferred to the Mumbai Waterfronts Centre whose Chairperson is P K Das. With an extremely strong emphasis on participatory planning, he hopes to integrate architecture and democracy to bring about desired social and physical regeneration in the country.

Das was the only Indian speaker invited to the UIA-2008 Congress held in Torino. On 24th January, 2009 he delivered the key-note address at a conference at the School of the Built Environment, University of Nottingham, UK. Subsequently Das has been a key-note speaker at the Morgen / Tomorrow Congress in Amsterdam in October, 2009.

Vikas Dilawari

Head of Conservation Department, KRV Institute of Architecture, Mumbai

Vikas Dilawari is a practicing conservation architect with more than two decades of experience exclusively in conservation field, ranging from urban to architecture conservation.

He is presently the Head of Department of Conservation Dept at KRVIA Mumbai.

He was instrumental with INTACH Mumbai chapter to list the CST station as World Heritage Site in 2004.

Several of his projects have received national and international recognition.

One of his significant works is the restoration of Dr Bhau Daji lad Museum in Mumbai. This got the UNESCO Asia Pacific Award of Excellence in 2005 other significant works (UNESCO awards) are: a)  the  restoration of Bombay University library b) the restoration of Craigie Burn bungalow (C 2008)  in Matheran , c) the restoration of archiepiscopal palace at Old Goa to name a few.

He was a member of Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee 2008-2011 and board of governor in MMR Heritage Conservation Society (2008-2011).

He has successfully executed several conservation projects in last two decades ranging from singular monuments to the residential grain mostly around Mumbai.

Abha Joshi Ghani

Sector Manager, Urban Development Unit, World Bank, Washington, DC

Abha Joshi-Ghani is Manager, Urban Development, in the Finance, Economics and Urban Development Department of the World Bank. She oversees the World Bank’s work on Urban Policy and the Knowledge and Learning practice of the Bank in the Urban Sector. Her Department; provides policy and operational advice to the Bank’s Regional departments and clients on key urban themes such as urban housing and land, urban planning, management and municipal finance, urban environment, cities and climate change, urban poverty, cultural heritage and sustainable tourism development and local and city economic development. She is also leading the work on the Bank’s Urban Strategy.

Jyoti Hosagrahar

Director, SUI, GSAPP, Columbia University, New York

Dr. Jyoti Hosagrahar is a professor at Columbia University, New York and Director of Sustainable Urbanism International at Columbia University, and Bangalore, India. Architect, planner, and historian, she is engaged with planning, design, and policies on urban development, urban conservation and heritage management, and sustainability issues. She serves as an expert for UNESCO on historic cities, culture and development, and urban sustainability.  She has been on the working group for the UNESCO Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscaps and also with the UNESCO Expert Group for Sustainable Urban Futures. Hosagrahar is the author of Indigenous Modernities: Negotiating Architecture and Urbanism (Architext Series, Routledge, 2005) awarded a 2006 book prize by the International Planning History Society. In partnership with The Energy Resource Institute, India, Hosagrahar developed a framework for moving towards urban sustainability, “An Exploration of Sustainability in the Provision of Basic Urban Services in Indian Cities” (TERI, 2009). She led SUI in the preparation of an integrated site management plan for the conservation and sustainable development of the heritage of the Hoysala towns in Karnataka that includes a 5-volume report. She is a member of the Advisory Committee for World Heritage Matters for the Ministry of Culture and on the Panel for Sustainability with the Bureau of Indian Standards. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Journal of Planning History and Buildings and Landscapes as well as on the board for the Society for American City and Regional Planning History. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Designing Change and Continuity: Cultural Resilience and Environmental Sustainability in Urban South Asia.

Shikha Jain

Founder-Director, DRONAH, Board Member, IHCN

Shikha Jain is Director, DRONAH (Development and Research Organization for Nature, Arts and Heritage, Gurgaon and Chief Editor of the biannual refereed journal ‘Context’. She has steered urban conservation projects for the Government of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Punjab and undertaken conservation works funded by international organizations such as the Getty Foundation, USA and the World Monuments Fund. She is a consultant to UNESCO New Delhi office for the UNESCO-JnNURM project on preparing the Heritage DPR Toolkit for the JnNURM Cities.

She is Visiting Faculty in the Department of Urban Planning, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, a Founding Trustee of the Indian Heritage Cities Network Foundation and panel member of PRASADA, Society of South Asian Studies, UK. She is currently the Member Secretary for the Advisory Committee on World Heritage Matters under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, India.

Shekhar Krishnan

Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT

SHEKHAR KRISHNAN is a social scientist and software consultant completing his PhD in the Program in Science Technology & Society (STS) at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). His doctoral research is on the history of technology in colonial Bombay, with a focus on commodity trading, clock time, and property development between 1860 and 1930.

He is also manager of ChaloBEST, a project to build free and open source web, SMS and smartphone tools for public transport in Mumbai, based at TIFR Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, and supported by a prize grant from Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS).

In Mumbai, he was co-founder and Associate Director of PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge Action & Research), 2001-3; convenor of the Mumbai Study Group, Academy of Architecture, 1999-2001; visiting faculty at Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture, 2003-5; and PhD fellow at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 2010-11.

Tasneem Mehta

Vice-President, INTACH

Tasneem Zakaria Mehta is an art historian, writer, curator, designer and a cultural activist who has studied Fine Arts and Design at the Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. She did a Liberal Arts degree at Columbia University, New York, a post graduate degree in the History of Modern Art from Christies, London, and a Masters in English from Delhi University. She has completed research towards a PhD on the establishment of museums and schools of art in the 19th century, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

From 2003, Ms Mehta is the Managing Trustee and Honorary Director of the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai City Museum, (the erstwhile Victoria and Albert Museum) which won the prestigious UNESCO 2005 Asia Pacific ‘Award of Excellence’ for Cultural Conservation. Ms Mehta conceptualized, curated, designed, and implemented the restoration and revitalization of the Museum. The Museum has embarked on an ambitious exhibition and education programme including showcasing modern and contemporary art.

Ms Mehta has served several terms on the National Gallery of Modern Art, Advisory Board in Mumbai and is also on the NGMA’s national advisory board. She is a two term member of the Governing Council of the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad, and has served on the Governing Council of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She has been a member of the Central Advisory Board for Museums and a Senior Expert Advisor to UNESCO.

Ms Mehta has successfully led the heritage protection movement in Mumbai. She was recently elected vice chairman of INTACH, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, which was started by Mrs. Indira Gandhi in 1984 with Rajiv Gandhi as its first chairman. She has been Convener of the Mumbai chapter and member of the governing council since 1996. She was a Governor of the MMRDA (the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority) Heritage Society, since its inception in 1998 till 2009

Ms Mehta has recently been invited to chair the CII Task Force on Museums and Heritage. The objective of the Task Force is to bring about more collaborative projects between industry and the arts to invigorate the cultural space in the country. She has been invited to Chair the Jury for The Skoda Prize for Indian Contemporary Art. The jury includes senior academics and eminent art collectors, as well as international experts.

Ms Mehta is an art critic and curator and has written and lectured extensively on contemporary art and heritage related issues. She writes regularly on art and culture for the Times for India. She was on the editorial advisory board of Art India the premier Indian art magazine.

Geetha Narayanan

Director, Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology, Bangalore
Board Member, ICSID

Geetha is the Founder-Director of the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology and its sister institution, the Mallya Aditi International School. She has dedicated her life to finding and establishing new models of educational institutions that are creative, synergistic and original in their approach to learning. An administrator, researcher, teacher and facilitator, she has pioneered many courses and projects that examine a wide variety of needs, social and educational. Geetha is the author and principal investigator of Project Vision, an international research initiative that is looking at the development of appropriate instructional strategies and technology-related tools that foster creative cognitive architectures in young children from urban poor communities.

Sheela Patel

Founder-Director, SPARC

Sheela Patel founded SPARC in Bombay in 1984. Since then, SPARC has formed an alliance with The National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) of India and Mahila Milan, a federation of women’s collectives in India, to promote empowerment of slum dwellers throughout India.

SPARC is a grassroots NGO working on urban housing issues, which aims to empower slum dwellers through community based, community led and community focused organizational processes. One of the most important aspects of SPARC’s work is how it collaborates with local grass roots groups, professionals and government agencies to build support for housing micro-credit programmes for pavement dwellers, support related research, and implementation of relevant policy initiatives. Some of SPARC’s salient implementation activities are community mapping, building information archives and providing education and training to the urban poor. SPARC measures its own effectiveness through the extent to which it can mobilize other people and groups rather than through its own growth as an organization.

SPARC initially concentrated on women pavement dwellers and has expanded its work to resettlement colonies, initiating projects in housing construction and sanitation, establishing links with the poor in Asian and Latin American cities, and finally initiating dialogue with bilateral and multilateral agencies on alliance developing and community participation strategies.

Aneerudha Paul

Principal, KRV Institute of Architecture

Aneerudha Paul is and architect and an urban designer based in Mumbai. He completed his Bachelor of Architecture from the Bengal Engineering College, University of Calcutta, and Masters of Architecture from the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi. He is the Director of the Kamla Raheja Vidyandhi Inst. for Arch. (KRVIA) and a member for the Dadra Nagar Haveli Planning & Dev. Authority. He has been involved in several committees of the Council of Architecture in India and the University of Mumbai and is currently the General Secretary for the Maharashtra Association of Schools of Architecture.

He has presented papers on urbanism in various institutes all around the world and some of his involvements in urban development projects include the Redevelopment of Mill Lands and Eastern Water Fronts, Mumbai; Upgradation of Perspective Plan for Haldia Planning Region; Self-Re-development of Slums in Mumbai, Preparation of Heritage Guidelines for Vasai Virar Sub-Region, Developing framework for redevelopment of dilapidated Buildings, Mumbai and Preparation of alternative plan for redevelopment of Dharavi.

Vidhyadhar K. Phatak

Independent Researcher, Former Principal Chief, Town and Country Planning Dept of MMRDA

Vidyadhar K. Phatak is working as an independent urbanist since 2004. Prior to that he was Principal Chief, Town and Country Planning Division of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). He was a member of the Task Force on “Planning of Urban Development” appointed by the Planning Commission, Government of India (1983), National Commission on Urbanization appointed by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India (1988). He was a consultant to the World Bank for preparation and appraisal of the First Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project (1987). After 2004 he has been a consultant to the World Bank for various studies in housing and urban development and has co-authored papers on housing policies. During 2008-09 he was Town Planning Adviser to Government of Punjab. He has been Adviser to PWC, CRISIL and KPMG on matters related urban development. He was a Director of the National Housing Bank till 2011.

Ravindra Punde

Principal, Rachna Sansad Academy of Architecture, Mumbai

Ravindra is the co-founder of Design Cell and the principal designer for the master planning, urban design and site planning projects. Under his leadership the firm has maintained a strong commitment to environmentally and culturally sensitive design outcomes. Ravindra’s skills in urban design, large urban and detailed scales make him a valuable asset to the firm and clients. He has extensive experience in the coordination of project teams and the master planning, design and documentation of large landscape and urban projects. He has successfully led several national and international competitions for Design Cell.

Ravindra uses his practice as a laboratory to pursue a lifelong interest in architecture and urban design as a living design medium that deepens and enriches people’s lives in cities, houses, gardens or elsewhere. Motivated by his context and readings of various Indian philosophers and leaders, Ravindra has always strived to give deeper meaning to all his work and has attempted to create design which contributes to society in a meaningful way. The public realm and the challenge of designing in complex urban design situations is a personal interest of Ravindra. In India, and other parts of world such as the US and Middle East, key urban design issues and concerns were addressed in several architectural and landscape projects. Involvement in the Mumbai International and Domestic Airport, undertaken at Design Cell has exposed him to the various levels of complexities involved in dealing with the urban landscapes.

Ravindra was previously visiting faculty at the Department of Architecture in School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi, India. Presently he is the Principal of Academy of Architecture, Mumbai, India.

K T Ravindran

Director, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi

Recently selected as Director, K.T. Ravindran is a Professor and the Head of Urban Design at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi for over two decades. He is the founder and President of the Institute of Urban Designers – India, which is a professional association of qualified urban designers. He is a member of the academic boards of a number of universities in India and has been teaching Urban Morphology and Humanizing Cities in addition to the Urban Design Studio. He has been a regular contributor to professional magazines and newspapers in India on subjects relating to urban design, planning, architecture and urban conservation. His practice includes design of Greenfield cities, cultural buildings and memorials, as well as Urban Conservation. He was the Vice Chairman of the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee of the Government of India for the last five years, which scrutinizes large projects all over India for their environmental fitness and management. Ravindran is currently The Chairman of the Delhi Urban Art Commission, a statutory body mediating aesthetics, environment and heritage in building and development projects in Delhi. He has been nominated as Member of the Advisory Board for the United Nations Capital Master Plan, a five member committee drawn from around the world, advising the Secretary General of the United Nations on the ongoing UN project in New York. His research interests include contemporary urban history, indigenous urbanism, vernacular building traditions and sustainability and urban form. He is a frequent speaker at many national and international forums.

Edward A. Rodrigues

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai

Dr. Edward A. Rodrigues is Associate Professor in Sociology at the department of Sociology University of Mumbai. He has also taught Sociology at the SNDT Women’s University Mumbai, Indian institute of Technology Mumbai and St. Xaviers College Mumbai. Dr. Rodrigues has done his doctoral work on the Dalit movement in Western India. His current research work looks at Caste in the Metropolis and examines how Caste and caste relations affects the entry of marginalized groups into modernity and urbanity in the contemporary context of globalization.

Vijay Sekhon

Artist, Mumbai

Vijay Sekhon is a Mumbai based multi-disciplinary artist who was born and brought up in city of Ahmedabad. He has a Masters in Fine Arts from M.S.University, Baroda and a second Masters in Interactive Telecommunications from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

His performance works mainly focuses on exploring one’s relationship with the other and the cosmos at large. His works are mainly site-specific in nature and currently he is working on series of projects, which explore issues of urbanization and its effect on environment. Vijay Sekhon is also working as a consultant to the Media lab for the Indian Institute of Human Settlement (India’s first independent National innovation university) in Bangalore.

Brinda Somaya

Architect and Urban Conservationist, Somaya and Kalappa

Brinda Somaya, Architect and Conservationist completed her Master of Arts degree from Smith College, USA after graduating from the Sir J. J. College of Architecture, Mumbai. She believes that development and progress must proceed without straining the cultural and historic environment. Her philosophy: the Architect’s role is that of guardian – his is the conscience of the built and un-built environment.

This belief underlines her work at “Somaya and Kalappa Consultants”, the company she has headed for the last three decades. Her oeuvre, spanning large corporate, industrial and institutional campuses extends to public spaces, which she has rebuilt and sometimes reinvented as pavements, parks and plazas as well as historic restoration and adaptive reuse.

Brinda is a Member of the Editorial Board for MARG Architectural Books and was a Member of the Committee of `Environmental Impact Assessment of New Construction Projects & New Industrial Estates for `Ministry of Environment & Forests’ Government of India and the Urban Heritage Conservation Committee and Mumbai’s Initiative for the Protection & Improvement of Streets & Public Spaces.

She was also on the IAWA board of Advisors (International Archive of Women in Architecture), U.S.A. & Founder Trustee of the Hecar Foundation. She chaired a conference & organized a seminal exhibition on the Work of Women Architects with a focus on South Asia in Mumbai. In addition `The Hecar Foundation has brought out several books/documents such as the `Emancipated Place: Women in Architecture 2000+, `Silent Sentinels’ Traditional Architecture of Coorg, `The Cathedral Schools Portfolio and  `The Mumbai Esplanade Project’

She has won numerous National & International awards. She was the first woman to have won the Wienerberger Golden Architect Award for lifetime achievement which is a peer award. In 2008 she also won the Union of International Architects Sgoutas prize mention for alleviation of poverty for her Bhuj Village Project and is a Leading European Architects Forum award winner for the new Nalanda Schools Campus in Baroda as well as the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage award for the restoration of the St.Thomas Cathedral in Mumbai.

Brinda has delivered analytical and critical talks as well as presented papers in India and abroad on her work – and other connected subjects. She has given lectures in the U.S.A, U.K., Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka & India and her work has been exhibited in the USA, UK & Japan.  She has served as an Examiner & Jury Member in India & Abroad and her work has been shown in several International exhibitions.

In May 2012 she will be the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the alma mater Smith College – Massachusetts.

Michael Turner

UNESCO Chair, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

Professor Michael Turner, an architect, teaches in the graduate programme of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and UNESCO Chair holder in Urban Design and Conservation Studies, also serves on many professional-academic bodies. Involved with urban and environmental issues he established the first Israeli Municipal Unit (1974) in Jerusalem and subsequently has been in private practice.

His recent urban and conservation researches include the Jerusalem-Berlin Forum reviewing these Divided Cities, offering mechanisms for sustainable peace; two EU projects, Partnership-for-Peace with Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian academics, Promoting the Understanding of Shared Heritage and a Seventh Framework consortium Designing Safer Urban Cities.

With over a decade of professional contribution in UNESCO, including consultation and capacity building in numerous countries, he was vice-president of the World Heritage Committee (2007-8) and currently chargé de mission to the ADG-Culture. He accompanied he six-year debate on the recently approved Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscapes.

Mark Wigley

Dean, GSAPP, Columbia University, New York

Mark Wigley is Dean of the Architecture Department of Columbia University. He holds a B.Arch. from the University of Auckland (New Zealand), 1979 and completed his Ph.D. in 1987. He was a resident fellow in the Chicago Institute for Architecture and Urbanism, 1989, and won the International Committee of Architectural Critics (C.I.C.A.) Triennial Award for Architectural Criticism in 1990. He is recipient of the Graham Foundation Grant, 1997. Prior to joining Columbia in 2000 as director of advanced studios, Wigley taught from 1987 to 1999 at Princeton University, where he became director of graduate studies in architecture in 1997. Wigley has served as guest curator for widely attended exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Drawing Center, New York; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; and Witte de With Museum, Rotterdam. He has written extensively on the theory and practice of architecture, and is the author of “Constant’s New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire” (1998); “White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture” (1995); and “The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida’s Haunt” (1993). He co-edited “The Activist Drawing: Situationist Architectures from Constant’s New Babylon to Beyond” (2001).