Meet the Speakers
Meet The Speakers
Ambrish Arora is founder of and Design Principal at Studio Lotus, a New Delhi-based multi-disciplinary design practice. Spanning the domains of Master Planning, Architecture & Interior Design the work of the award-winning practice, is grounded on the principles of Conscious Design – an inclusive approach that focuses on a rigorous process as much as the end result. Presently, Ambrish plays the role of Chief Mentor to the team. Through his practice, Ambrish has also campaigned for the revival of crafts and the integration of vernacular wisdom and artisanal skill sets in modern building practices, as a means to achieve cultural, social as well as environmental sustainability often through frugal and passive means relevant to the sub continent. Ambrish has been a part of several National advisories and Juries on Design & Architecture and has extensively lectured internationally and within India and has a keen interest in building design leadership as a catalyst of change.
Dr. Debasri Basu is an Assistant Professor employed with West Bengal Education Service, currently serving the Department of English (Undergraduate & Postgraduate) at Maulana Azad College in Kolkata, India. She completed her doctoral studies on Partition Literature of the Indian subcontinent at the Department of English, University of Kolkata. Her other research interests range from British Literature of the eighteenth century to Indian Writings in English, Bengali, and Hindi, as well as Resistance Literature and Popular Culture.
Katie Graham is currently part of the faculty of the Bachelor of Media Production and Design in the School of Journalism & Communications, Carleton University, Ottawa. Prior to this appointment, she was actively involved for a decade with Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS), a research lab focusing on how advanced digital technologies and hybrid forms of representation can reveal the invisible aspects of architecture. While at CIMS, she led multiple digitally assisted storytelling projects that use CIMS’ digital assets such as panoramas, models, and point cloud data to create public outreach projects for the web, mobile, and virtual reality. Projects include the Senate Virtual Tour, the VR Kiosk, and Parliament: A Virtual Experience. Katie is currently involved with CIMS as associate faculty. Katie Graham received her BAS (2008) and M.ARCH (2010) in architecture at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Architecture with a focus on virtual reality storytelling.
Riyaz Tayyibji is a practicing architect and partner at anthill design, Ahmedabad. He is actively involved in architectural documentation, research and academics, and has been a former Associate Professor at the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University. From 2014-16 he was the coordinator of the Gandhi Heritage Sites Mission set up to document the buildings made by and related to the life of M.K. Gandhi. He continues to research and write about Gandhi’s Buildings as part of his reconsideration of modern architecture in India. Riyaz has curated exhibitions on the architecture and urbanity of Ahmedabad. Amongst these is, The Stepwells of Ahmedabad: A Conversation between Water and Heritage, that opened at the Kanoria Centre for Arts, the Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad in 2016 and the Yale School of Architecture in 2019. The exhibition will open virtually at The Cooper Union in November this year and is in the process of being developed into a book. Riyaz also writes about the historical and contemporary city of Ahmedabad and has published a guide to the city’s architecture. Presently he is a Team Lead at National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) working on a Heritage Conservation Plan for the medieval walled city of Ahmedabad following its UNESCO inscription as a World Heritage City.
Dr. Stephen Fai is Director, Carleton Immersive Media Studio and Professor and Chair of the PhD and MAS Programs, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, Carleton University, Ottawa. He has a PhD, Religious Studies from the University of Ottawa, a Master of Architecture from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado. He is recognized internationally for his work on the documentation and dissemination of ethnocultural methods of construction and building information modelling for heritage conservation and architectural rehabilitation in his ongoing work as the director of the Carleton Immersive Media Studio. His research areas also include architectural representation, architecture and religion, and architecture and microhistory, and biomedical visualization.
Dr. Sambit Datta is Professor of Computational Design at Curtin University. Based in the School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences in the Bentley campus, he works across the university in the disciplines of Design, Computer Science, Architecture and Built Environment and Urban Science. His research group, Computational Design Research Laboratory (Codelab) is developing new computational processes and tools for architectural and urban reconstruction. Focussing on the development of novel computational techniques, his current research is contributing to our understanding of design, spatial geometry and urban form. A recipient of the prestigious Michael Ventris Memorial Award from the Institute of Classical Studies, Cambridge and the Architectural Association, London.
Ar. Kavita Jain is a practicing Conservation Architect and Dean, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Vivekananda Global University, Jaipur. She completed her Bachelor in Architecture from Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), Jaipur and a Post graduate in Architectural Conservation from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.
Shannon Bassett is a Canadian-American architectural and urban designer. Her research, teaching, writing and practice operate at the intersection(s) of architecture, urban design and landscape ecology. Her writing on both China’s explosive urbanization and its changing landscape, as well as shrinking cities and the post-industrial landscape in North America, has been published in Topos, Urban Flux, Landscape Architecture Frontiers Magazine (LAF) and Canadian Architect. Her design work and research has been exhibited both nationally, as well as internationally, including at the Hong Kong Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture (2012) and was featured in the ensuing book publication, “Learning from Tri-ciprocal Cities: The time, the place, the people”, published by ORO Editions. Her work has also been displayed at the BUGAIK International Architectural Exhibition (Busan Ulsan Gyeongnam Chapter of Architectural Institute of Korea). She was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant for (Re)Stitch Tampa. Ensuing from this research platform was the publication, “(Re)Stitch Tampa: Designing the Post-War Coastal American City through Ecologies", published by ACTAR.
Shawn Bailey is a Métis architect with the Manitoba and Ontario Association of Architects. He holds a Master degree in architecture from the University of Manitoba. Shawn has 18 years of experience in practice working within a wide range of project types, from small to large residential, institutional, industrial, and commercial projects which include both new builds and renovations. Shawn’s portfolio of work includes award-winning projects situated in North Western Ontario. His research interest focuses on collaborative design processes that seek to draw connection to the land through indigenous knowledge and perspectives. Rather than focusing on contemporary trends and sophisticated visions, his work seeks to develop an architectural understanding through a process rooted in story. Currently, Shawn is collaborating with a grassroots initiative, community members, elders and knowledge keepers to help address the issue of homelessness seen in Northwestern Ontario municipalities. This project includes exploring how the application of Indigenous Knowledge can inform a respectful way of negotiating with modern design thinking and practices while empowering the community. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has conducted a series of workshops based on the material research from his design thesis.
William T. Willoughby
William T. Willoughby, AIA is an architect, educator, and essayist who began his career at Kent State University, taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for 2 years, and later became a tenured professor and college administrator at Louisiana Tech University where he founded the Community Design Activism Center in 2000. In 2013, he returned to Kent State University's College of Architecture and Environmental Design to serve as Associate Dean and to teach as an Associate Professor. In addition, he served for 2 years as Interim Program Director for Interior Design. He teaches in both the interior design and architecture programs and has written, published, and presented extensively on architecture and design from a cultural studies perspective.
Ronn Daniel is the Interim Interior Design Program Director, College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED), Kent State University, Kent. He holds a BSE (Civil Engineering) from Duke University, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has practiced professionally with Camiros ltd., FormWork Interior Architecture, and Hopscotch Studio. As a design historian, he investigates the relationships between interior space, cultural ideas, and technological change. His work has been published in two design theory readers, the journal Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture, and a forthcoming chapter in The Cultural History of Interior Design: The Modern Age 1920-2000 (Turpin and Blossom, eds.). He is a member of the Interior Design Educators Council and serves on the review board of the Journal of Interior Design. In 2019 he was named Outstanding Reviewer of the Year by the Journal of Interior Design (JID) and is co-editor of an upcoming double volume, special issue of the JID titled: “Thinking the Body Inside” that will be published this coming March.
Sidhartha Talwar is a Principal at Studio Lotus, a New Delhi-based multidisciplinary design practice he co-founded with Ambrish Arora and Ankur Choksi in 2002. Spanning the domains of Masterplanning, Architecture, and Interior Design, the work of the award-winning practice is grounded on the principles of Conscious Design—an approach that celebrates local resources, cultural influences, an inclusive process, and keen attention to detail.
Roger William Connah
Roger William Connah, lives in Ruthin, North Wales, UK. He is currently Associate Professor, Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism, Carleton University (Ottawa), Visiting Professor, School of Art and Design, Guangdong University of Technology ( Guangzhou, China), and International Chair (2017-2019) Sushant School of Art and Architecture (Gurgaon, India). Responsible for a series of publications, exhibitions, films carried out over 4 decades in Finland, Sweden, India, Pakistan, Italy, USA, UK, and Canada, he has published over 20 books on architecture, art, material culture, cinema and society, including: Writing Architecture, MIT Press (1989), Being: An Architect, Ian Ritchie (with Roger Connah) Royal Academy London (2014); Finland: Modern Architecture in History (Reaktion Press 2005); Aaltomania (2001), How Architecture Got its Hump (MIT 2000); Welcome to the Hotel Architecture (MIT 1999); Architectures of Thought (2021); Heron-Mazy Studio (Connah-Maruszczak founded 2001) architectural studio for alternative projects: Chromopolis (2002), Revenge on the Lawn White House Redux, Storefront 1st Prize (2008); Kite Running Architecture (Bengaluru 2015); Architects can’t be Existentialists (2012); Nexus: Designing Disruption and Celebration (Ahmedabad with NID 1986), Shelter (Delhi 1987); SatishGujral Retrospective (Delhi,1988), amongst others.
Dr. Vibhuti Sachdev
Dr. Vibhuti Sachdev is Dean at SSAA and Director, Architecture, Planning, and Design Schools, Sushant University. She qualified as architect in 1989 from SPA, Delhi, completed her Phd in 1996 from University of London, and has worked as a conservation consultant, writer, and designer. She has taught at the University of Sussex, and written four books and several articles on the subjects of Jaipur, traditional knowledge systems, Indian cities, and Indian modernities. She has worked and written extensively on the city of Jaipur, focusing on its planning, architecture, and craft traditions. Since publishing these books, Dr Sachdev has been a consultant on the restoration of the Jal Mahal in Jaipur, was the design curator for the artwork of its pavilions, and the co-curator of the exhibition ‘Painted Pleasures’. Her latest book is on the Festivals at the Jaipur Court. At Sushant University, she has introduced new programmes, various reforms, and innovations in teaching and learning systems in the fields of Architecture, Planning, and Design at the undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels.
Dr. Michael Windover
Dr. Michael Windover is Associate Professor of Art and Architectural History and Assistant Director of the School for Studies in Art and Culture at Carleton University, Ottawa. A historian of modern architecture, design, and material culture, his research interests include the intersections of architecture with other media, and the effects and affective dimensions of everyday design. He is cross appointed to the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture and to the School of Industrial Design at Carleton University, as well as being adjunct curator of Design at Ingenium: Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation. He is currently Vice-President of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada and commissioning editor of Dalhousie Architectural Press’s series Canadian Modern.