Neelkanth H. Chhaya is Adjunct Faculty Member at the Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology. In tandem with this appointment, he serves as Chairman of the Education Working Group of the Hunnarshala Foundation, Bhuj; and as Academic Director of the International Habitat Design Studio, Vastu Shilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad. His teaching experience in higher education includes Dean, Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad (2005-13); Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, C.E.P.T., Ahmedabad (1987-04); and Invited Visiting Professor at the Masters Programme for Architects from Developing Nations, Otaneimi Technical University, Helsinki (1989).
Alongside his teaching experience, Mr. Chhaya has extensive independent practice as an architect. In this capacity, his projects include new architectural designs at Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad (2012-ongoing); projects involving earthquake and flood relief in Gujarat and Bihar (2000-10); and award-winning designs for Urban Housing at Kolkata (1996-2002) and Hyderabad (2002-5). As Partner in Mandala Architects in Ahmedabad, his designs received national and international awards and recognition from organizations such as the Spectrum Foundation Award (2002); the Indian National Trust for Art, Culture, and Heritage (INTACH), (1991); and the National Competition for the Karnawati Sports and Recreation Club, Ahmedabad (1990), among numerous other awards and recognitions.
He has actively and centrally participated in national and international lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and conferences, including being the Invited Speaker at SAYA 2015, Kochi, organized by Design Detail Magazine; Keynote Speaker at the Annual Conference of the Association of Architectural Educators in U.K. at the University of Sheffield (2014); Invited Speaker at Umea School of Architecture, Umea, Sweden (2013); Invited Speaker at Aarhus School of Architecture, Aarhus, Denmark (2013); and the Invited Speaker and Panelist at the International Architectural Education Summits at Tokyo (2009), Madrid &Segovia (2011) and Berlin (2013).
Mr. Chhaya’s published research includes monographs such as editing and writing for the book Harnessing the Intangible: on the works of architect B. V. Doshi (2014), as well as articles such as “School Without Walls” article published in Indian Architect & Builder (2013). He has served on numerous national committees and boards, including as Member of the Senate, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (2014-ongoing); and Member of the Building and Works Committee of the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (2011-ongoing). He serves as Elected Chairman of the Governing Board of the Hunnarshala Foundation through 2015.
Nina Sabnani is an artist and storyteller who uses film, illustration and writing to tell her stories. Graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara she received a master's degree in film from Syracuse University, NY, which she pursued as a Fulbright Fellow. Her doctoral thesis on the Kaavad tradition has been published in a book; Kaavad Tradition of Rajasthan, a portable pilgrimage.
Nina's research interests include exploring the dynamics between words and images in storytelling. Her work in film and illustrated books seeks to bring together animation and ethnography. Her award-winning films include Mukand and Riaz, Tanko Bole Chhe (The Stitches Speak) and Baat Wahi Hai. Her film Hum Chitra Banate Hain made in collaboration with the Bhil artist Sher Singh from Madhya Pradesh, received the national award (Rajat Kamal) for the best animation film from the President of India at the 64th National Awards for 2016. In 2018 she received the lifetime achievement award for Illustration from Tata Trusts at the Tata Lit Live Festival in Mumbai. In 2021 she received The Legend of Indian Animation award from Toonz Media Group. Currently, she is Chair of Immersive Learning at Srishti Manipal Institute of Art Design and Technology.