Madhavi Desai


Madhavi Desai is an architect, researcher, writer and teacher. She is a founding member of the Women Architects Forum, author of Women Architects and Modernism in India (Routledge, 2017) and editor of Gender and the Built Environment in India (Zubaan, 2007). Madhavi was an adjunct faculty member at CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India from 1986 to 2018, and has had research fellowships from the Indian Council of Social Science Research; the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT; Sarai, New Delhi; and the Getty Foundation. Madhavi is also the author of Traditional Architecture: House Form of the Islamic Community of the Bohras in Gujarat (Council of Architecture, 2007) and co-author of Architecture and Independence (OUP, 1997), Architectural Heritage of Gujarat (Gujarat Government, 2012) and The Bungalow in Twentieth Century India (Ashgate, 2012). She has been a member of the nominating committee of the Berkeley-Rupp Professorship/Prize at UC Berkeley since 2012 and was a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley in 2014.

Session details

Day 2


Challenging the Canon – Rewriting history

How and why do we recover the histories of women’s active participation in shaping the built environment? How does such knowledge reshape our understanding of the past and the present? What are the barriers, assumptions and disciplinary norms challenged by rewriting built environment histories? Jude Barber, Sarah Rafson, Madhavi Desai and Karen Burns discuss recent projects in a panel discussion chaired by Julie Willis.

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