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Adjunct Faculty

Dilip DaCunha,

Dilip da Cunha is an architect and planner. He is an Adjunct Professor at Srishti and is currently collaborating with the Law+Environment+Design Laboratory on a research project for the re-visualizing and transformation of the Western Ghats of India. In collaboration with his partner Anuradha Mathur, he is author of Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape (Yale University Press, 2001), Deccan Traverses: the Making of Bangalore's Terrain (Delhi: Rupa & Co., 2006) and Soak: Mumbai in an Estuary (Delhi: NGMA and Rupa & Co., 2009). Most recently they have co-edited a book entitled Design in the Terrain of Water (Applied Research & Design Publishing, San Francisco, 2014).

An underlying thread in Mathur and da Cunha's work is a concern for how water is visualized and engaged in ways that lead to conditions of its excess and scarcity, but also the opportunities that its fluidity offers for new visualizations of terrain, design imagination, and design practice. This concern has guided their recent research studios with Penn students in Mumbai and Jerusalem. In April, 2011 and 2012 they conceived and directed an international symposium, In the Terrain of Water, at PennDesign that is also being developed as a book. They are currently working on a project provisionally titled The Invention of Rivers. It stems from questioning the natural status given to rivers and the imaging and imagining that this assumption has inspired. Far from being natural entities, they argue that rivers are products of a cultivated eye that privilege water at one moment in the hydrological cycle when it appears containable and controllable. Through the alternative of a rain terrain - the appreciation of water everywhere before it is somewhere, they are researching an alternate ground for design and planning.

Da Cunha with Mathur is also leading a PennDesign Team for a yearlong project coordinated by Professor Guy Nordenson of Princeton University and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation titled Structures of Coastal Resilience(SCR) with a focus on Norfolk and the Hampton Roads area of coastal Virginia.
He is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Design, University of Pennsylvania.

His educational qualifications include B.Arch., Bangalore University (1982), Master of Housing, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi (1984), M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1989) and Ph.D. in Planning Theory, University of California, Berkeley (1996)School of Design, University of Pennsylvania.


Leslie Johnson

Leslie is a Swedish American artist with broad base of media from video to site specific sculpture; drawing and printed matter. She is represented mainly in Scandinavian collections such as Göteborg, Borås, Västeras Art Museums and Swedish State Collection, Sculpture commission, city of Gothenburg Sweden 2013. She is also a pedagogue, (Professor, former art school director) active since 1990 in Sweden as well as transnational projects with Russia, US and other European countries. Co-curator of "Nordic Art: Between Miracles" Tibilisi Georgia 2013, "Nature: A Good Idea", Trollhattan Sweden 2014; and numerous pedagogical exhibition projects.


Neelkanth Chhaya

Neelkanth H. Chhaya is Adjunct Faculty Member at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. In tandem with this appointment, he serves as Chairman of the Education Working Group of the Hunnarshala Foundation, Bhuj; and as Academic Director of the International Habitat Design Studio, Vastu Shilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad. His teaching experience in higher education includes Dean, Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad (2005-13); Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, C.E.P.T., Ahmedabad (1987-04); and Invited Visiting Professor at the Masters Programme for Architects from Developing Nations, Otaneimi Technical University, Helsinki (1989).

Alongside his teaching experience, Mr. Chhaya has extensive independent practice as an architect. In this capacity, his projects include new architectural designs at Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad (2012-ongoing); projects involving earthquake and flood relief in Gujarat and Bihar (2000-10); and award-winning designs for Urban Housing at Kolkata (1996-2002) and Hyderabad (2002-5). As Partner in Mandala Architects in Ahmedabad, his designs received national and international awards and recognition from organizations such as the Spectrum Foundation Award (2002); the Indian National Trust for Art, Culture, and Heritage (INTACH), (1991); and the National Competition for the Karnawati Sports and Recreation Club, Ahmedabad (1990), among numerous other awards and recognitions.

He has actively and centrally participated in national and international lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and conferences, including being the Invited Speaker at SAYA 2015, Kochi, organized by Design Detail Magazine; Keynote Speaker at the Annual Conference of the Association of Architectural Educators in U.K. at the University of Sheffield (2014); Invited Speaker at Umea School of Architecture, Umea, Sweden (2013); Invited Speaker at Aarhus School of Architecture, Aarhus, Denmark (2013); and the Invited Speaker and Panelist at the International Architectural Education Summits at Tokyo (2009), Madrid &Segovia (2011) and Berlin (2013).

Mr. Chhaya’s published research includes monographs such as editing and writing for the book Harnessing the Intangible: on the works of architect B. V. Doshi (2014), as well as articles such as “School Without Walls” article published in Indian Architect & Builder (2013). He has served on numerous national committees and boards, including as Member of the Senate, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (2014-ongoing); and Member of the Building and Works Committee of the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (2011-ongoing). He serves as Elected Chairman of the Governing Board of the Hunnarshala Foundation through 2015.


Vandana Goswami,

Vandana Goswami is an academic professional with with more than 20 years experience as an educator. A medical anthropologist by training, Vandana uses her anthropological insights across disciplines, especially in the context of education, pedagogy and design. As an educator, she is passionate about the need to involve people, both students and others, in thinking independently, critically and creatively. She has been in involved in teaching thinking skills, especially critical thinking skills in schools, colleges, universities and in teacher training programs. As an educational practitioner, she strives to connect theory and research to everyday practice.

Vandana has a Doctorate in Anthropology from Michigan State University, as well as two Masters in Anthropology --- MS from Michigan State University and MA from North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India. She has been associated with Srishti Institute of Art, Design And Technology for more than a decade.

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