Team UDC

CORE TEAM

VIDHYA MOHANKUMAR | Founder and Principal
Vidhya is an architect & urban designer with 15 years of work experience in India, Ireland and the United States. Her work is focused on creating cities that are people-oriented and centred around transit as part of a sustainable development agenda that she is passionate about. Since 2015, she has also been serving on the governing board of Center for the Living City, established in collaboration with Jane Jacobs to enhance the understanding of contemporary urban life and through it, promote increased civic engagement. In addition, Vidhya has been advocating sustainable development practices as a guest faculty at various universities in India for the past 10 years. Vidhya has a masters degree with distinction in urban design from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA and a bachelors degree in architecture from the National Institute of Technology, Trichy.

DEVANGI RAMAKRISHNAN | Strategic Initiatives Manager- Pondicherry
Devangi is an architect and urban designer whose work endeavours to realise inclusive and equitable cities through multidisciplinary, place-based, participatory, community-driven, action research, planning and design. Her projects target sustainable urban development, urban renewal, neighbourhood improvement, street and public space design, and her professional experience includes design and construction management of urban riverfronts, parks, and streetscapes, and community engagement projects in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Chennai, and Pondicherry.

SHRUTI SHANKAR | Manager- Research and Content Development
Shruti is an urban designer and architect with experience working on the design of the built environment across a variety of scales. Her main areas of interest are in integrated design projects and collaborative methods to create innovative, lively and sustainable cities for people. As a passionate urbanist, Shruti enjoys writing and drawing about the making of cities and wears many hats at the UDC (often literally).

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ASSOCIATES

ABINAYA RAJAVELU
Abinaya is a passionate urbanist with a keen interest in creating people-centric cities. She received a Masters degree in Urban and regional planning from the University of Tours, France and Bachelors in Architecture from SRM University, India. Abinaya strongly believes that collaborative and participatory methods play a major role in the creation of sustainable and lively cities. Over the past three years, she has worked with several local communities, institutions and organizations in a multitude of projects that hinge on public awareness and participation, data based sustainable city development and art in the city building process.
As a senior associate at UDC, Abinaya is involved closely in all projects from conceptualization to implementation.

NEHA KRISHNAN
Neha is an urban planner and architect currently based in New Jersey. Her work focuses on the impact of climate change on cities, resiliency planning and policy, and community-centric disaster management. She has worked for several years in Mumbai and Chennai as an architect and professor. Following a master’s degree in urban planning at Columbia University, she now teaches at SUNY Empire State and pursues a career in research.
At UDC, she is part of the editorial team for City Observer- a journal on cities that is published biannually.

SRIVARDHAN RAJALINGAM
Srivardhan is an architect whose interest lies in making cities that are people-centric and sustainable while being conscious of the history and culture of that place. He is extremely passionate about place making and believes strongly in spreading public awareness through community participation in order to make liveable cities. Prior to his association with UDC, he worked to create sustainable playscapes in multiple cities and rural areas in India thus transforming unused spaces into vibrant public realms. He graduated from McGan’s Ooty school of Architecture and has served as President of the National Association of Students of Architecture – the only student body of its kind and scale across the globe.

SUNJANA THIRUMALA SRIDHAR
Sunjana is an Urban Designer and Architect with 9 years of work experience in the professional and academic urban design and architectural sector, from India, Africa and the USA. Her work encompasses large scale, large impact urban research and design, with a deeper focus on innovative and gender-oriented design strategies. She has independently, and through collaborative initiatives, developed designs which focus on long lasting, and genuine empowerment of vulnerable communities, with projects in Kenya and India. Prior to co-founding a practice in New York, she gained her professional experience under the guidance of elite design practices in Chennai and Bangalore. Her work includes, amongst more, detailed master plans for cities, waterfronts and villages, in addition to strategic redevelopment plans for downtowns and public plazas.
At UDC, she is part of the editorial team for City Observer- a journal on cities that is published biannually.

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COLLABORATORS

AITHIHYA ASHOK KUMAR
Aithihya is an independent animation filmmaker. A self- taught 2d animator, her personal expression relies on the technique of producing animated films where every frame is hand drawn. After starting her independent practice in 2017, she associates with Studio Chitrakoothu as an art director and animator. She has been associated as a collaborator with Urban Design Collective since 2015 and has worked on assignments such as poster designs, cover page designs, logo animation and short film production.

AJEETHA RANGANATHAN
Ajeetha is an architect, writer and designer who is interested in the larger impacts of design. Her interests tend towards exploring socioeconomic issues and emerging technologies, and how they impact the city.

BHARATH GANDHI PALANISWAMY
Bharath is a civil engineer with a specialization in Geoinformatics. He is an urban enthusiast and always up for the cause of better cities. He is the Director at his own firm Rajarajan Engineering Consultancy & Construction Pvt. Ltd.

DINESH JEYACHANDRAN
Dinesh completed his Bachelors in Architecture (B.Arch) from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli in 2015. Subsequently, he joined COSTFORD (Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development), Thiruvananthapuram as a Junior Architect and the Laurie Baker Centre for Habitat Studies, Thiruvananthapuram as an Academic Coordinator. He worked with both organisations for 3 years. Trained in the approach of Architect Laurie Baker, Dinesh works towards sustainable habitat development with a focus on alternative building construction techniques and cost-effective construction. Currently he is based in Chennai and works independently on projects in Tamil Nadu.

KATHEEJA TALHA
Katheeja is a writer and researcher with a background in architecture, theatre and anthropology. She currently practises architecture with Diagrammar in Chennai while documenting the many changes around her, especially in her beloved Triplicane. Despite all evidences to the contrary, she remains hopeful about the human condition.

MAHESH RADHAKRISHNAN
Mahesh is an architect with work experience ranging from large scale urban design to human scale interface design. He has been an urban research scholar at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation in Germany and is the founder of a small architectural practice with a long name- MOAD- The Madras Office for Architects and Designers.

NISCHAL BUDDHAVARAPU
Nischal is an architect, urban designer, essayist, thinker, reader, feminist, adventurer and lots of other things that may not be true. He is one of the Directors at Padgro Consultants, a Chennai- based firm that offers architecture, urban design and planning services.

SIVAGAMI PERIANNAN
Sivagami is an architect, urban designer who is curious about everything urban. Her areas of interest include graphic design, housing, urban transformation and alternative theories in urban conservation. Having worked on projects of varied scales, she believes informed design can change the world for the better. She loves to explore new cities and old buildings.

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INTERNS

Shourya Dubey CEPT University; June 2019 – Present
Khushali Haji CEPT University; June 2019 – Present
Radhika Babu IIT Kharagpur; May- July 2019
Venkateshwaran M Hindustan University, Chennai; May- June 2019
Subramaniyan N Hindustan University, Chennai; May- June 2019
Vaishali Gopalan Manipal University, Manipal; May- June 2019
Gokul Krishna. J SSN College of Engineering, Chennai; May- June 2019
R. Bezylal Praysingh Hindustan University, Chennai; June-July 2018
N. Priyadharshini Hindustan University, Chennai; June-July 2018
S. Selva Ganesh Hindustan University, Chennai; June-July 2018
Jesica Yu University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; May-June 2018
Brandon Persico University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; July- August 2017
Shravya Narakula SPA Vijayawada; May- July 2017
Gillian Yerington University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; May-June 2017
P.Prashant Manipal University, Manipal; December 2016
Arthisri.V Manipal University, Manipal; June- July 2016
Nilima Dhamal SPA Bhopal; May- July 2016
Priyanka Kathiresan SAP Chennai; April- June 2015
Dean Anthony Srinivasan AMS College of Architecture, Chennai; December 2014- March 2015

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VOLUNTEERS

Hari Vardhan, Sarveswaran Ganapathy, Ksheeraja Padmanabhan, Shvetha, Nandini Ramakuru, Roshni Krishnan, Sridharan, Sarat Chandran, Hari Krishnan, Krishna Das, Saritha Sudhakaran, Prasoon G Das, Vidya Anil, Anita C. Jakkappanavar, Anna Poulose, Anuja Priyanka, Archana Menon, Chidambaram, Dinesh, Govindarasu, Harshita D, Hima CS, Kirti M Halkai, Manasa Metpally, Moses Johnson, Pramod Bhargav, Prithvi Mahadevan, Rotti Gauramma Basappa, Shakthe Charan, Shraddha M Guggari, Shruthi Raghunath, Varun, Vidhyashree H, Vishwak, Saroja Arunachalam, Yusuf Chiniwala, Nithya Ramesh, Kavitha Gonsalves, Reema Gupta, Hareesh Haridasan

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