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Rahul Mehrotra appointed chair of urban planning and design department at Harvard GSD

May 28, 2020

Acclaimed Indian architect Rahul Mehrotra has been appointed the Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design and the John T. Dunlop Professor in Housing and Urbanization.

Mehrotra joined Harvard GSD’s faculty in 2010, serving as Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design from 2010 until 2015. He most recently served as the Director of the Master of Architecture in Urban Design Degree Program and Co-Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design Degree Program. He has also been a Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the School. Mehrotra will commence his term on July 1, 2020.

Karjat Magic Bus Centre for Learning and Development, on the outskirts of Mumbai; photo: Ariel Huber

“The pace and nature of urbanisation are challenging how we define and teach planning and design,” Mehrotra says. “Today, the world is in a period of extreme transitions, triggered in large part by the inequities caused by globalisation as well as climate change and its mark on people’s daily lives. This state of flux is obvious in the changing rhythms of nature and its impact on human settlements. Design and planning have crucial roles to play in using this condition of flux to create solutions to endemic inequalities, from conceiving innovative housing solutions to imagining entirely new urban formations.”

With a distinguished career as a practitioner and as an academic, Mehrotra’s practice, teaching, and seminal published works focus primarily on housing and urbanisation, particularly in the Indian metropolis of Mumbai as well as other Indian states. Mehrotra has also previously taught at the University of Michigan (2002 to 2006), followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2006 to 2010), and finally Harvard.

Three Court House by RMA Architects; photo: Tina Nandi

He founded his Mumbai- and Boston-based firm, RMA Architects, in 1990. RMA Architects has designed and executed projects around the world, including government and private institutions, corporate workplaces, private residences, and other projects, among them a Library for the School of Architecture at CEPT in Ahmedabad, a software campus for Hewlett Packard in Bengaluru, and a conservation masterplan for the Taj Mahal with the Taj Mahal Conservation Collaborative. Mehrotra has also collaborated with NGOs to improve conditions for people living in informal settlements in Mumbai.

News via Harvard Graduate School of Design

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