Prof. Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan
Professor , School of Design
Scroll of Honour for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement
Diploma thesis: Gandhi’s Way – A Study of Communication as if People Mattered
Doctoral thesis: Genesis of Design Education in India – The Warp and Weft of Global-Local Contexts
Professor:11.1 2013 to present, School of Design, Ambedkar University, Delhi
Associate Professor: 7.11.2012 to 10.1.2013, School of Design, Ambedkar University, Delhi
Associate Professor: 1.1.2010 to 27.10.2012, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, CEPT University, Ahmedabad
Assistant Professor: 1.8 2008 to 31.12.2009, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, CEPT University, Ahmedabad
Visiting Faculty: 1991 to 2010, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar
Design Consultant: 1990 to 2008 & Programme Coordinator Setu: Centre for Social Knowledge and Action Ahmedabad
Teaching And Research Interests
Design problem analysis, design methods, visual communication, orality and visual literacy,
Design history, sociology and politics of design, design as activism
Design education and pedagogy, comparative cultural perspectives on design
Sponsored research projects
Curatorial research for the exhibition Bauhaus Imaginista (Chapter- Moving Away: The Impact of the Bauhaus in Asia) to mark the centenary of the Bauhaus Design School (Staatliches Bauhaus – Weimar-Dessau-Berlin 1919-33) in 2019.
2016 Museum fellowship at National Museum, New Delhi
Sponsor: India Foundation for the Arts and National Museum, New Delhi held jointly with Abeer Gupta. The project was a year-long engagement with National Museum (Decorative Arts Department) to engage with 80 pieces of brocade from the museum’s collection through research, curation and display. This project was visualized as a live link between the university, the museum and the public and opening of national resources through student research and public participation. The project concluded in an exhibition at the National Museum entitled Atoot Dor/Unbroken Thread: Banarasi Brocade Saris at Home and in the World, which was on view from 25 February to 25 April 2016. The exhibition was accompanied by an illustrated colour catalogue of object displayed in the show.
2014 British Council Knowledge Economy Partnership
Project Title: Evolving Best Practices for Postgraduate Teaching about Design, Culture and Society: Developing curriculum, pedagogy and teaching materials through collaborative, cross-cultural partnership
Online Module On Design
Research and presentation of module on History of Design for online course “Understanding Design” developed by Industrial Design Centre at IIT Powai, Mumbai, for Open Design School on Swayam Platform of MHRD. November 2017. Grant sanctioned: GBP 8460 – INR 8.46 lakhs This year-long collaboration explored the theme Design and Uncertainty in the Global Present in two workshops, one in May 2014 in London and the other in September 2014 in Delhi. The two workshops examined the ways in which design is drawn into responding, re-imagining and re-shaping the social landscape amid the unfolding challenges posed by an increasingly inter-connected globalised world. Participants included a team of 6 faculty members (three from each institution) and 13 students from RCA and 20 from AUD.
Faculty Development Programmes
articipated in Twenty-Seventh Appreciation Course on Parliamentary Processes and Procedures for Professors/Associate Professors/Assistant Professors of Universities/Colleges organized by the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training during 2 - 6 May 2016.
Research (*indicates publication)
CHAPTERS IN EDITED BOOKS
Articles In Conference Proceedings
Pre-publication review of journal manuscripts
Design and the Postcolonial State in India
Conference entitled "Moving Away - Bauhaus Pedagogy" organized by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson in cooperation Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi. 2 December 2018
Design and the Postcolonial State in India
Conference entitled bauhaus imaginista: Designing Life/Moving Away : Bauhaus in Asia at China Design Museum, Hangzhou, China, 10 April, 2018
The Design Student Experience at the National Institute of Design
International Forum: When art becomes education, when education becomes art – the past and future of the curriculum of Bauhaus at German Consulate Shanghai, 11 April 2018
Designing Modern India: Incubating Modernism
Seminar bauhaus imaginista Moving Away : Bauhaus in Asia - From Bauhaus to Post-WWII Asian Design: Reception and Reflection, Goethe-Institut Peking, 14 April 2018
Challenges of interpretation of exhibition Atoot Dor/Unbroken Thread: Banarasi Brocade Saris at Home and in the World
Panel titled ‘Re-Presenting Histories: New Narratives from Museum Collections’, at the conference Old Routes/ New Journeys to be held in collaboration with Max Mueller Bhavan/ Goethe Institut, New Delhi supported by the Tata Trusts, March 2018.
Cultures of the City: AUD Neighbourhood Museums in Delhi
Presented at International Winter School at The Innovation School, The Glasgow School of Art, Highlands and Islands Campus, Forres, Scotland on the theme "Alternative values/new economies", January 2018.
Making it Concrete: Imagining and realizing a ‘standard’ of ‘living’ in India after Independence
Presented at Modern Living in Asia conference, Brighton. Via Skype, April 2017
Pedagogy for Social Design Practice at the School of Design, AUD
Presented at the International Winter School at The Innovation School, The Glasgow School of Art, Highlands and Islands Campus, Forres, Scotland, January 2017.
Three reasons why it is time to rethink design pedagogy in India
Presented at seminar entitled " Inside Future - Future Inside : Practice, Pedagogy and Perception of Interior Design" at CEPT University, Ahmedabad, December 2015
Imagining the New Republic: Design and the Search for a Standard of Living for Indians
Presented at conference entitled Political Imaginaries: Rethinking India’s Twentieth Century, January 2014 organised by American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi.
Designing Modern India: Gandhi as Design Activist
Presented at Design History Society annual conference Design Activism and Social Change, Barcelona, September 2011
Teaching the History of Design
Presented at Design: Ahmedabad-London, a collaborative design history conference between NID-RCA-V&A, Ahmedabad, March 2011
The Tangled Web of Religious Caste, Community and Gender Identities: Partition and Gujarat
Presented at Religion in the making of a Region: Perspectives from Gujarat, Conference at Wolfson College, Oxford, July 2010
The Place of Drawing in Design Education
Presented at in 2010 at CEPHAD 2010 – The Borderland between Philosophy and Design Research organized by The Danish Design School, Copenhagen
Beyond Majority-Minority Dichotomy: Impact of the Events of 2002 on the Education of Girls in Ahmedabad
Presented in 2004 at Annual Women’s Studies Conference at Goa
Refocussing Praxis: The Problem for Design Research
Presented in 2000 at an international conference on Design (plus) Research at Milan, Italy organised by Politecnico di Milano.
Protecting Rights of Children in State Care
Presented in 1998 at a seminar on Child Rights organised by UNICEF and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, M.S. University, Baroda.
Organisation Of Workshops And Seminars
Chaired talk by graphic designer Itu Chauduri entitled “An Uncertain Arc: Impressions of India's Design Century” at India International Centre, February 2014
Organised two workshops, one each in London (May) and Delhi (September), to explore cross-cultural learning on the theme of Design and Uncertainty with multi-disciplinary faculty teams from varied cultural geographies
Mentor at conference What’s Next: Future of Design Education organized by Pearl Academy, New Delhi in December 2014.
Co-organiser with Tanishka Kachru of NID Ahmedabad and Academic convenor of the 36th Annual Conference of the Design History Society, London, entitled “Towards Global Histories of Design: Postcolonial Perspectives” hosted by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India, 5-8 September 2013
Co-organiser with Prof MP Ranjan of NID Ahmedabad, two Workshops LOOK Back – LOOK Forward: HfG Ulm and Design Education in India (Bangalore, March 2010) and HfG Ulm and Basic Design for India (Kolkata, September 2010) Co-organiser of an art symposium entitled “Contemporary Art in India: Spatial Trajectories” with the participation of artists, curators and photographers from Delhi, Mumbai and Baroda, CEPT University, October 2010.
Co-curated (with Abeer Gupta) exhibition Atoot Dor/Unbroken Thread: Banarasi Brocade Saris at Home and in the World, on view at the National Museum, New Delhi from 25 February to 25 April 2016.
Cities: Sustainably wicked; Wickedly sustainable
International Conference on “Design for Social Development” jointly organized by National Institute of Design (NID) and World Design Organization (WDO) at NID Gandhinagar, 15 February 2019.
Locks, Limes and Charms: Keeping Safe and Feeling Safe in a Modern World
Talk for students at PhD workshop at National institute of Design, 22 May 2018
The Dashavatara: Civilisational Design as a Response to Uncertainty
Talk for students at PhD workshop at National institute of Design, 23 May 2018
Two cultures of design
Forum, Lopez Design, New Delhi, January 2018.
The Global Gujarati: At Home in the World
Willingdon Club, Mumbai, February 2017
Design in the Real World: A View from India
Glasgow School of Art, 17 January 2017
Imagining the Indian Nation: The Design of Gandhi’s Dandi March and Nehru’s Republic Day Parade
South Asian University, New Delhi, November 2015
Women and the City (Ahmedabad): Gender, Vulnerability, Agency
School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, January 2014
The Myth of the Hare and Hounds: Making Sense of a Recurring City-Foundation Story
Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 2014.
India in the 1970s: A View through Postage Stamps
Haifa University, Haifa, November 2013
Dung: The epistemology of absence and presence
Royal College of Art, London, November 2013
"Lotas of our time": Modern Design in Independent India,
Royal College of Art, London, November 2013
Gandhi and Nehru as Designers: The Dandi March and Republic Day Parade (1930/1950)
King’s College, London, May 2013
Travelling objects, migrating ideas about design: India-London/New York-India (1851/1955)
School of Oriental and African Studies, April 2013
Drawing in Social Science Research
Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, June 2012
Designing Contemporary India: The Warp and Weft of Global Local Contexts
Ambedkar University, Delhi, April 2012
The Shaping of Modern Gujarat-Ahmedabad
IIT Gandhinagar, December 2011
The Shaping of Modern Ahmedabad
Faculty of Planning and Public Policy, CEPT University, December 2011