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PhD Faculty

Aileen Blaney
Aileen Blaney is an educator, writer and researcher with an M.Phil and Ph.D. in Film Studies from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Aileen’s film related publications have appeared in edited book collections and international peer-reviewed journals. Her research is currently focused on how the internet, digitization of culture and their increasing automation are impacting photo-based art practices and photography in the everyday. She is co-editor of a forthcoming book Photography in India in Light Years and Digital Times (forthcoming, 2017). Prior to joining Srishti, she worked at India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in its arts practice and curatorial programmes. She was a creative producer (2010-12) for Dublin-based Forum on Migration and Communications and Pivotal Arts Studio (Dublin/London), where she contributed to socially engaged documentary arts, curatorial and public learning projects with a focus on migration. At Srishti, Aileen teaches in the PhD program, is Course Leader for the Postgraduate program in Screen Studies and delivers ‘General Studies’ courses in film, photography and visual theory and criticism at undergraduate level.
Areas of Interest: Violence and Documentary film; Photo-based Contemporary Art Practice; Materialities of Digital Photography; Visuality and the Image in the Internet-Age.

Anwesha Das
Anwesha Das is a writer and scholar. She is deeply interested in critical and theoretical writing, non-fiction and research. After completing a PhD in African literature from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, she worked as an Assistant Professor in Chennai and Kolkata. Always interested in postcolonial literature, she went to Washington D.C. to present her research at Howard University. Indiana University Press, USA, published her interview of Nigerian author T. Obinkaram Echewa. In addition to this, Anwesha has published her critical writings in international peer-reviewed journals of repute. She has contributed a chapter in the book entitled Being and Becoming: Gender, Culture and Shifting Identity in Sub-Saharan Africa, Spears Media Press, Cameroon. She has presented research papers in national and international conferences. She is a member of the Igbo Studies Association, USA and MELUS/MELOW, India. At Srishti, Anwesha teaches literature, creative writing, and academic writing courses.
Areas of Interest: African literature, postcolonial writings, non-fiction, films, story telling, oral history, critical and academic writing.

Farhat Ara
Farhat Ara has a PhD in Science Education from Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR), Mumbai and a Master's degree in Zoology from Calcutta University. Her thesis focused on understanding students’, teachers’ and designers’ perceptions of design and developing design based activities for Indian middle school students. Her thesis has charted a new territory by focusing on Design which is relatively ignored at the elementary and middle school levels in the Indian context. She has received the TIFR Alumni Association- B.M. Udgaonkar Award for the Best thesis of the year, 2013-2014.
After receiving her doctorate, Farhat worked for a short period at RV Educational Consortium (Bangalore) as a facilitator with D.Ed. Teachers in a Pedagogical Content Knowledge Project where she was involved in the development of a source book for D.Ed teachers.
At Srishti, Farhat is a part of Center for Education Research Training and Development (CERTAD) and teaches courses related to technology education at the undergraduate level. She is also involved in teaching in the PhD programs.
Areas of Interest: Science education; Design and Technology education; curriculum development; cognitive science; philosophy of science.

Gautham Dayal
Dr. Gautham Dayal studied at the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata where he got a B.Stat (Hon.), and then got a doctorate in Mathematics from the Chennai Mathematical Institute.
He is interested in looking at 'making' as a way of empowering people and communities. He is interested in how 'making' traditions and modern fabrication technology meet and what these imply for a meaningful 'vocational' education.
He explores the role that 'making', 'play' and 'tinkering' play in building understanding. In this context, he is also interested in exploring how the collection of materials one normally works with can be extended to include computers (and other programmable objects).
Outside Srishti, he has taught in a variety of settings: in an international school, in a learning center for children from urban poor and in non-formal schools for rural and urban children. He is also passionate about working with wood, and spends much time both making wooden furniture and teaching woodwork. At Srishti, he teaches both the Professional and Technical Undergraduate Programs, and is a course leader for the Order and Chaos module in the School of Foundation and Preparatory Studies. Gautham is a part of Center for Education Research Training and Development (CERTAD).
Areas of Interest: Play and Making as learning processes; Technology in Education; Computer as a material; Vocational Education.

Geetha Narayanan.
Geetha is the Founder-Director of the Srishti Institute 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.

Gururaja KV
Gururaja is an ecologist specialising in anuran systematics, behavioural and landscape ecology and bio-acoustics. He is trained in GIS and remote sensing, biostatistics, ecological modelling and research methodology. He has a Ph.D in Environmental Science from Kuvempu University. He completed his postdoc research at Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on the influence of land use and land cover changes on amphibians. He then joined Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP), IISc, as a research scientist and worked on urban ecological issues (blue and green spaces) and environmental impact assessments. Later, he worked as a Chief Scientist with Gubbi Labs LLP, where he is an adjunct fellow now. He is a strong proponent of 'citizen science' and started 'Frog Watch' programme on India Biodiversity Portal.
At Srishti he teaches theoretical framework and use of GIS and Remote Sensing in Public Space Design for Masters students. He teaches Complexity and Living Systems in Earth Education and Communication. He also teaches Technology and Biological Systems to Experimental Media Arts students.
Areas of Interest: Ecology, Ecological Complexity, Ecological Modeling, Biologically Inspired Designs and Environmental Impact Assessment.

Indira Chowdhury
Indira has a Ph.D. in history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London (1993), an MPhil from the University of Pune (1985) and a Masters from Jadavpur University (1981). She was awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship in 1989. Earlier, a professor at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Indira left to dedicate herself to creating archives and founded Archival Resources for Contemporary History (ARCH), in Bangalore in 2007. Her book, The Frail Hero and Virile History (Oxford University Press, 1998), was awarded the Tagore Prize in 2001. She was awarded the New India Foundation Fellowship in 2006. Keenly interested in oral history, Indira is a founding member of the Oral History Association of India (OHAI) and currently President. She is also President of the International Oral History Association. At Srishti, Indira is the founding director of the Center for Public History. She teaches in the Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Ph.D. programs. She is also a Ph.D. guide approved by Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
Areas of Interest: Oral History, Public History, History of Science, Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies.

Jaishri Iyer
Jaishri Iyer is a consultant counsellor at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology and is working with individuals, families and groups, focussing on enhancing young adults’ personal and social functioning, their overall psychological health, and developing effective interpersonal skills.
She has a doctoral degree in Guidance and Counselling, and a graduate degree in Sociology and Education. Having taught Human Resources, Training and Development at Icfai, India, she has also worked as a counsellor at The Asian Hospital, Harmony Counselling Centre, and the Madras Dyslexia Association, Chennai.
Her counselling interests are focused on individual and group therapy, motivation, communication, integrative mental health and emotional wellbeing, family and relationships, life transitions, crisis interventions, outreach and consultation. She is committed to providing support and care to all.

Jyoti Hosagrahar (On Leave)
Jyoti Hosagrahar is UNESCO Chair Professor in Culture, Habitat, and Sustainable Development. She is also Chair of the Ph.D. program and Director of the SUI-Srishti Collaborative. Hosagrahar is a professor in architecture and urban planning at Columbia University, New York where she directs the Sustainable Urbanism International Lab that is an NGO in India. She served as an expert member of the national Advisory Committee for World Heritage under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India (2011-2015). Architect, Urban Designer and Planner, and Cultural Heritage Management specialist, since 2006 she has served as a technical expert for UNESCO on historic cities, culture and development, and urban sustainability, and for UN Habitat III Policy Unit 2. She has worked closely with the World Heritage Center and the Culture Sector at UNESCO in a number of capacities. She serves on the Executive Committee of ICOMOS India member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Theory and Philosophy (Theophil) and Historic Towns and Cities (CIVVIH). Hosagrahar serves as a visiting professor in the UNESCO Chair Program at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. She is currently a member of the Panel for Sustainability with the Bureau of Indian Standards, and Karnataka’s Tourism Vision Group. She leads the SUI-Srishti Collaborative at Srishti exploring the intersections of design, culture, environment, and sustainable development. She is the chair of the Ph.D. Program at Srishti.
Areas of Interest: Cultural heritage design and management; sustainable development; urban design and planning; history and theory of the built environment.

Kiranmayi Indraganti
Kiranmayi is a filmmaker and has authored a book for OUP (forthcoming) on early Indian playback singing. She has screened her documentaries at film festivals, most recently at Ethnografilm Festival-2014, Paris. Her feature film work includes costume designing for the National Award winning Grahanam (2004). Kiran has experience of working at film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival (2001), and has extended her expertise and advice on film programming and jurying in India. Kiran holds an MA in English Literature (University of Madras), MFA in Film Production (York University, Toronto) and a PhD in Film Studies (University of Nottingham). She is trained in Indian classical vocal music and has published creative writing and translations including the Telugu poet Devulapalli Krishna Sastry’s poems, a compilation brought out by the Dravidian University. At Srishti, Kiran teaches across undergraduate and PhD programs in areas encompassing filmmaking and theory.
Areas of Interest: Documentary, fiction filmmaking, script writing, song performance and film history.

Mamta Sagar
Mamta Sagar is a poet, playwright, translator and academic. She has four collections of poems, four plays, an anthology of column writing, a collection of critical essays in Kannada and English on gender, language, literature and culture and a book on Slovenian-Kannada Literature Interactions to her credit. She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from Hyderabad Central University. Mamta has worked with Hyderabad Central University and Bangalore University where she has taught Comparative Literature, Translation Studies, Kannada Literature, Postcolonial and Cultural Studies. Her association with visual arts is as an art critic, contributor to artists’ catalogues and as a performance poet designing poetry installations, readings and performances. As a practicing poet she has collaborated poetry performances with artists, poets and musicians from different parts of the world. She is actively involved with international poetry translation projects like Literature Across Frontiers, Poets Translating Poets, Melding Voices etc. She has been curating KAAVYA SANJE the community poetry event performed in public spaces involving people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. On invitation, Mamta has participated in poetry festivals and facilitated poetry workshops in India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, US, European, Southeast Asian and Latin American countries. At Srishti Mamta will engage with courses in Academic and Creative Writing.
Areas of Interest: Comparative Studies, Translation Studies, Cultural Studies, Poetry Installations, Poetry in public spaces, Curating Poetry Performances, Collaborative work using poetry with mediums of visual art and music.

Dr. Manjari Singh
Manjari Singh joined Srishti in early 2011 as the Coordinator for CERTAD (Centre for Education, Research, Training and Development). She has a Ph.D in Educational Psychology with a specific focus on Learning, Cognition and Instruction from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. She also has a Bachelor of Education from Annamalai University and a Masters’ degree in Clinical Psychology from Bangalore University, India.
Manjari has been involved in educational research and practice within elementary-secondary schools and higher education. Her research work has been primarily qualitative and included ethnographic studies of teaching and learning. Her educational practice has included teaching and counselling students within K-12 system in India, teaching undergraduate students in the United States, mentoring and supervising pre-service teachers, as well as contributing to professional development workshops and programs for practicing teachers.
Manjari’s focus is on fostering educational practices that are learner-centered, developmentally appropriate and stimulating and which promote gender equity and student empowerment. She is interested in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of educational programs and processes that foster quality learning among children enrolled in school or non-formal educational programs, and, in conducting programs and research related to teacher’s professional learning and development.

Manjula Kandula
Manjula Kandula is a scientist & technical communicator. After obtaining a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science, she worked as science communicator before joining the software industry where she spent over fourteen years as a documentation specialist.
Manjula has presented several papers at conferences such as STC (Society for Technical Communication), TWIN (Technical Writers India Network), Hewlett Packard (India) Conference, and TC World.
At Srishti, Manjula teaches various aspects of technical communication, which includes topics ranging from structured writing to professional communication skills.
Areas of Interest: Music (especially Carnatic music), Nature walks, Spirituality.

Marialaura Ghidini
Marialaura Ghidini is a contemporary art curator and writer with international experience in producing exhibition projects reflecting on the intersection between the arts and technology. She was founder director of the web-based curatorial platform (2009-2015), and organised projects ranging from online and gallery exhibitions to site-specific interventions in public spaces, radio broadcasts and AiR programmes. With a background in the humanities, an MA in Critical Writing and Curatorial Practice (Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK) and a practice-based Ph.D in Curating After New Media (CRUMB at University of Sunderland, UK), her expertise lies in curatorial studies and contemporary art reflecting on the role of the technological.
At Srishti she brings her interdisciplinary and hybrid approach to practice and theory and her interest in working with different formats of artistic and curatorial production and display through using contexts of engagement beyond the gallery and the museum. Marialaura is course leader for the Undergraduate program in Experimental Media Arts.
Areas of Interest: Curatorial Studies, New Media Art, Web-based Art, Contemporary Art.

Naveen Bagalkot
Naveen’s research is within the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and User Experience Design. Over the past five years Naveen has been involved in the domain of designing for out-of-clinic healthcare, exploring the design of pervasive and mobile Information & Communication Technology that support people to perform care activities meaningfully across everyday spaces, things and people. His research addresses the issues and challenges posed by the resource-constrained settings for technological design by taking advantage of the heterogeneous everyday practices of the end-users. With a background in Architecture, Industrial Design and Interaction Design he brings exploratory design skills in combination with an ethnographic sensitivity to design research. For Naveen, design is not a mere means to an end, but a means of inquiry and exploration of the nuances of human behavior and experience. He is interested in innovating for emerging communities through figuring ways of embracing the ongoing assemblages of living. Naveen holds a Ph.D. in Interaction Design from IT-University of Copenhagen, Denmark, an M.Des in Industrial Design from IIT-Bombay, and a B.Arch from Vishveshwarya Technological University, India.

Pithamber R. Polsani
Pithamber traversed diverse disciplines: philosophy, education, technology, management, literature, semiotics, media, psychoanalysis, art and Spanish language. These explorations have given him the capability to synthesize insights from multiple domains and connect hitherto unconnected things in a unique way to arrive at solutions to conceptual and practical problems. Prior to joining Srishti as faculty, Pithamber led learning Academies for Royal Bank of Scotland & Nokia Siemens Networks, and at Satyam Computer Services established a Virtual University. Before joining the corporate sector Pithamber taught at the University of Arizona, Bates College & Delhi University. Pithamber received his PhD (1997) from Purdue University, West Lafayette and MPhil & MA from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Some of Pithamber’s publications include, “The Image in a Fatal Kiss: Dalí, Lacan and the Paranoiac Representation”, Bucknell Review, 2001; “Like A Lizard That Junks its Tail in Distress: Homer Simpson is no Antigone”, The Symptom, 2003; “Use and Abuse of Learning Objects”, Journal of Digital Information, 2003; “Riding the Satellite to the Millennium”, C-Theory, 1998.
Areas of Interest: Design Ideas in History; Vernacular Design; Urbanism & Urban Design and Philosophy.

Sandeep Ashwath
Sandeep Ashwath is an animator and anthropologist. He is interested in the construction of sacredness in domestic spaces, the audience reception of animation texts and the relation between moving image and the transcendent. In his work as an animator, Sandeep initially engaged with traditional forms of Indian storytelling and performance through classical animation involving hand painted and paper cut-out techniques. His work then moved to exploring digital imagery, verse/text and minimalist drawn animation for telling stories effectively. He holds a PhD from the University of Surrey – UK and a Master’s Degree from the Royal College of Art – London. Before that, he studied at the National Institute of Design – Ahmedabad specialising in Animation Film Design. At Srishti, Sandeep is Associate Dean at the School of Media, Arts and Sciences and he heads the undergraduate programs of Digital Media Arts, Digital Media Production and the postgraduate pathway in Animation and Visual Effects. He teaches film/animation language, film appreciation, scripting and research methods. He mentors graduation projects and sits on advisory panels for doctoral students.
Areas of Interest: Cultural Anthropology, Animation Film Design, Animation Research, Ethnography, Film Language.

Sanjukta Ghosh
Sanjukta is a passionate researcher. Her research expertise is in the area of consumer behavior and market intelligence through qualitative and quantitative techniques. She strongly believes in Peter Drucker’s philosophy that “what can be measured can be managed.” For last four years she has extensively working on eco efficient products and service promotion. Her research findings have been published in journals of national and international repute. She has submitted her doctoral thesis from Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur. Prior to that she did her MPhil (Marketing) from West Bengal University Of Technology.
Sanjukta has 15 years of experience, which includes research, academics and industry. She is currently associated as a faculty at Srishti and teaches Research Methods for undergraduate and postgraduate students. She is also working with Srishti Labs (Slabs) team to develop a segmentation model for “Middle Class Indian” which will provide necessary consumer insights to the designer while designing new product.
Areas of Interest: Consumer behavior, Data analytics, Eco innovation.

Sonal Godhania
Sonal Godhania is a researcher with an academic background in the field of Strategic Management in the fashion industry. Sonal’s practice is predominantly rooted in the garment and jewelry industry in India, Tanzania and UK. As an educator, she works with a combination of teaching philosophies and methods of practice, experience and the latest innovation in the given field. Born and brought up in Pune, Sonal has formal training in Business Management, Fashion Design and other art and craft. She has an MSc in Information System and Business Management and her PhD was in in Fast Fashion: The Dynamic Capabilities Underlying Project Management in the UK Fashion Industry (Small and Medium Enterprises) from the University of Bedfordshire (United Kingdom). At Srishti, Sonal is the coordinator for the PhD programmes and also teaches courses on Product, Service Systems Thinking and Business Fundamentals. She teaches across undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD levels.
Areas of Interest: Fashion Industry Management, Strategic Management, Research Design and Methods, Qualitative Research, System Design and Sustainability.

Vasanthi Mariadass
Vasanthi Mariadass is a Film Studies and Critical Theory researcher who specializes in visual essay, documentary, experimental, avante garde cinema, specifically by French-Swiss film director Jean-Luc Godard and the films and installations of German filmmaker Harun Farocki.
She completed her doctoral studies from Indiana University at Pennsylvania. Vasanthi collaborated with Prof. Daniel Fetzner, Offenburg University, Prof. Dr. Marion Mangalsdorf , Freiburg University and Prof. Gadagkar, Indian Institute of Science on an experimental and science-art interfacing project Buzz (2014)
More recently, she wrote an essay “To See With Your Ear” on Cathy Lane’s work Beam, at the satellite exhibition in Kochi Biennale (2014) which was published in Unbound (2016). She obtained a research residency at Gothenberg University to continue her research on Harun Faroki . She was a DAAD research fellow (2013) at Humboldt University, Berlin, to initiate her research on the works of Harun Farocki . Vasanthi was the coordinator (2005-2007) for the postgraduate English programme at St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru. She was the project manager for the CIDA grant program (2001-2003) on sustainable energy, which was linked to women and development. She wrote an essay ‘Vagabondia: Archiving the Archive’ on Vagabondia by Isaac Julien, published in Unpacking Europe (2001). She was a Helena Rubenstein fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program (1998), New York. At Srishti she teaches Film Studies and Critical Theory.
Areas of interest: Contemporary Theory and specifically Postsructural and Postmodern theories, Psychoanalysis, Postcolonial Theory, Film Theory, Film Studies, Media and Cultural studies, Contemporary Art.

Dr. Vivek Dhareshwar (On leave)
Dr. Vivek Dhareshwar has a Ph.D. from the History of Consciousness Program, University of California, Santa Cruz (1989). Previously, he was Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, of which institute he was the Director between 2001 and 2004. From 1993 to 1997, he was at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, where he was Fellow in the Social Basis of Culture and Sociology. He was a Homi Bhabha Fellow from 1996-1998. He has also taught in the Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. He has published widely in ethics, political theory, literary criticism, and the philosophy of culture.
At Srishti, he is the Dean of the School of New Humanities and Design, and supervises research in the PhD program. He also heads the Bangalore Human Sciences Initiative (BHSI).
Areas of Interest: Comparative study of cultures; ethics and political theory; design as practical knowledge.

Visiting PhD Faculty 2014-15:

Dr. Vandana Goswami, Independent Researcher, Teacher and Trainer in Critical Thinking

Dr. Jyoti Sahi, Freelance artist and writer

Dr. Mallika Gopalakrishna, Managing Director, Research Interface

Prof. Anna Fox, University of Creative Arts, London

Dr. Catherine Lane, University of Arts London

Dr. Lois Hetland, Massachussets College of Art and Design

Dr. Nina Sabnani, Industrial Design Center, IIT Bombay