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Keynote Speakers


Prof. Nalini Thakur

Professor Thakur is one of India’s foremost experts in the field of heritage conservation. Her experience over three decades in the field of architecture and conservation ranges from activist, professional, teacher, mentor and academician.

She began her conservation training as a Fellow at ICCROM (UNESCO’s International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage) in 1982 after completing undergraduate study at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi (SPA). She became a full time Architectural faculty member School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi (SPA) there, and later pursued graduate studies at the University of York as their first Charles Wallace scholar.

The 1980’s was a period that witnessed the emergence of heritage conservation and its development worldwide as we know it today. Thakur was at the forefront of the movement in India.

After Following her ICCROM training, Thakur utilized her professional expertise for the benefit of the community through the activities of the local architectural heritage group, the Conservation Society Delhi (CSD). She was an active founding member of the Conservation Society Delhi (CSD) and brought Delhi’s heritage to her citizens by holding heritage walks on Sundays. Later, as President of CSD, Thakur organized a yearlong campaign called, “Historic Delhi World Heritage City”.

She also developed new approaches to architectural conservation at the SPA through innovative methods and frameworks for learning and teaching. Most significantly, she developed a holistic model that proposed an integrated way of development of “living” architectural heritage management from first principles. This framework approaches the challenge from a position of no authority by focusing on the knowledge potential of heritage and its relevance to long term benefits to create a society that is responsible to its resources.

Although her initial teaching at SPA focused on teaching architectural history and guiding “designing in context” studios, her work in conservation led her to be named as founding Professor in the newly inaugurated Department of Architectural Conservation at SPA, a post she still holds today. During her tenure she headed the program for ten years, and developed and ran the Masters Programme in Architectural Conservation.

Other high points in her long career, include:

  • Numerous professional projects, highlighted by work at the World Heritage Sites of Champaner Pavagadh, Khajuraho, and Hampi. The most notable project is the Integrated Management Plan for Hampi, prepared for the Archaeological Survey of India. This contributed to the removal of the site from World Heritage’s endangered sites list.
  • Developing a legal framework and new strategies such as the Archaeological Park to protect and manage archaeologically significant parts of the city of Delhi. The U.S. National Park Service supported CSD in this endeavour.
  • Associated with the founding of the Asian Academy, an educational institution of ICCROM and UNESCO for heritage management education in the Asia Pacific, that is virtually located in Bangkok.
  • Partner and Indian coordinator for the EU–Asia link project, MUMA (Multi-Disciplinary Management Strategies for Conservation and Use of Heritage in Asia and Europe.) Partners in this endeavor include the “World Heritage Studies” programme of Brandenburg Technical University, Cottbus, Germany; Advanced Computer Graphics Group (GIGA), University of Zaragoza, Spain; and the Beijing Institute of Technology, Bejing, China.
  • - International academic collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, U.S.A.; Norwegian University of Science and Technoloy, Trondheim, Norway; and the Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Prof. Kulbhushan Jain

Prof. Kulbhushan Jain studied at MSU, Vadodara; SPA, New Delhi and U.Penn USA. Worked with Louis Kahn for couple of years. On return to India in 1969 he joined School of Architecture which became part of CEPT, Ahmedabad. Here he held several positions including Director of the School of Architecture, Head of M. Arch ( Theory and Design) program and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. He also initiated and chaired the Doctoral Program. He has taught in India and abroad. Jain has authored nine book, several articles and papers. He is recipient of several national and international awards

Prof. Minakshi Jain

Prof. Minakshi Jain, born in 1943 at Baroda, a practicing architect, has been involved in teaching. She has co-authored several books, received several awards and has a pilot's licenses to her credit. Minakshi Jain, one of the most prominent conservation architects in India, finished her undergraduate education in architecture from CEPT University in 1966 and pursued a masters’ from University of Pennsylvania studying under Louis I Kahn for two years before returning to India. Under her, many reports on historic cities of Gujarat have been produced. She has co-authored Mud Architecture of the Indian Desert, Fort of Nagaur and Indian City in the Arid West, with Prof. K. in. She has been involved in the design of many residences & institutional buildings.Housing and conservation of historic buildings has been one of her major interests Minakshi Jain was chief architect overlooking the restoration of Nagaur Fort which won the UNESCO award of excellence and later being nominated for the Aga Khan Award for 2013. Apart from her professional quests, alongside Kulbhushan Jain, she also runs the AADI centre - an NGO for research in conservation studies, located in Ahmedabad.

Prof. AGK Menon

Prof AGK Menon, is an architect, urban planner and conservation consultant. Practicing and teaching in Delhi since 1972, he co-founded the TVB School of Habitat Studies in 1990 and was its Director from 1994–2007, when it was inducted into the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, as the University School of Architecture and Planning. As a Conservation Consultant he has undertaken many pioneering urban conservation projects in India on behalf of INTACH and authored several documents setting guidelines for conservation practice in India, including The Charter for the Conservation of Unprotected Architectural Heritage & Sites in India, 2004. While maintaining an active professional practice he remains a passionate interlocutor in mediating the development of Delhi as a Heritage City.