Karl Beelen

Karl is an architect and urbanist by training, who has worked in Amsterdam and Chennai. He is currently an IGCS research scholar* with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT-Madras. He completed a PhD in urbanism at Eindhoven University of Technology, which examined the implicit, erasive urbanisms emerging in the margin of infrastructural logistics and urban planning. His current research engages with the city of Chennai and carries a particular interest in grassroots urbanisms and everyday notions of ‘design’. He is currently an affiliated member of Heidelberg University’s Cluster of Excellence: Asia and Europe in a Global Context.
* financed by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF.

Lalit Kishor Bhati 

Lalit is an Urban Planner from CEPT, Ahmedabad has been based in Auroville for last 16 years & engaged with Auroville’s planning & developmental activities for well over 10 years in various capacities, including being a team member of Auroville’s Master Plan formulation. He has been following his keen interest in the field of ‘learning from Auroville& Integral Sustainability’ via organising various national & international learning programmes, workshops & facilitates numerous study visits to Auroville for students and participants coming from very diverse age & background. He has taught short course on ‘Planning and Design of Sustainable Cities’ at IIT Roorkee and conducted ‘Holistic Sustainability Workshops’ in many Architecture & Planning Institutions in India. Also co-runs an Architecture & Planning consultancy Studio called ‘PATH’ in Auroville which organises educational activities under the umbrella of ‘Auroville Integral Sustainability Institute. Also a founding member of Auroville Campus Initiative; an Auroville based entity engaged with further learning activities.

Vidhya Mohankumar 

Vidhya is an architect and urban designer with over a decade of work experience in India, Ireland and the United States. Vidhya’s work is focused on creating urban spaces that are people-oriented and centered around transit as part of a sustainable development agenda that she is passionate about. She advocates the same through training & capacity building programs for various stakeholder groups and within academia through her association with several universities as visiting faculty and guest critic. Her urban design projects include master plans, redevelopment plans, strategic planning projects, regional plans, local area plans, campus master plans and urban design studies for existing and proposed developments in various cities around the world. In 2011, she founded Urban Design Collective (UDC), a collaborative platform for architects, urban designers and planners to create livable & sustainable cities through community engagement. She received a master’s degree in urban design with distinction from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a baccalaureate degree in architecture from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli, India.

Deepta Sateesh

Deepta is an ecological designer concerned with the environment and communities. She is Director of the Design+Environment+Law Laboratory, where she conceptualizes complex design projects to catalyze change in contentious landscapes. The lab is a space where designers, lawyers, scholars and activists work together to challenge existing legal, environmental, social, economic and cultural frameworks, in these landscapes. In the past, Deepta has worked on large-scale planning projects in China, Korea, Vietnam and Colombia, including the master plan for the Beijing Olympics 2008 site and the proposed Bogota Metro Project, building her knowledge and experience in environmental leadership, strategy and ecological design. Deepta is Dean of the School of New Humanities & Design at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture (Manipal Institute of Technology, 1998), and a Master of City Planning (University of Pennsylvania, 2000). Her doctoral research is led by design inquiry in ‘Reimaging the Western Ghats’.