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Design Impact Vol. 3: South Asia -

Design Agency & Climate Change

Event Overview

 Design Impact Vol. 3: South Asia - Design Agency & Climate Change sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council, examines the understanding of design and development as applied or framed in the South Asian context with a particular emphasis on equity and socio-economic development. The event is organized into two panels presenting diverse voices followed by a moderated discussion and an audience question and answer session. The first panel, “Global Orientations and Local Perspectives,” will unravel the depth of enquiry and the degree of success in balancing global orientations and local practices in multiple South Asian cities. The second panel, “Climate Migration in South Asia,” will bring forth perspectives on climate migration in South Asia as a trigger to other forms of migration and the need for transformation and innovation in humanitarian response.

Download event resources here

  • Event Organizer: Aditi Agarwal, MDes ’20, Computational Designer, based in Atlanta, GA 

  • Event Organizer: Rohit Manudhane, MDes ’10, Architect and Lighting Expert, based in Mumbai, India

  • Event Organizer: Ambika Malhotra, MAUD ’20, Architect and Urban Designer, based in Delhi, India

  • Event Organizer: Alpa Nawre, MLAUD '11, Landscape Architect, Architect & Urbanist, based in Gainesville, FL

  • Event Organizer: Moulshree Mittal, MDes EE '21, Architect and Building Performance Specialist

  • Event Organizer: Cadence Bayley, MAUD ‘21

  • Event Organizer: Elsa Mendoza Andres, MDes ADPD ‘22

Session 1

Global Orientations and Local Perspectives 

Theoretical underpinnings and practice in South Asia have been typically viewed as derivatives of the Global North. With increased scholarship on localized knowledge, and the need to engage with unique constraints, urban practices can no longer be merely defined in terms of appropriating global discourses. This panel examines pressing questions of geo-political agendas, unbridled urbanization, and thematic prerogatives in the design discourse through the lens of diverse stakeholders in the South Asian development landscape.

  • Session Curator: Seetha Raghupathy, CEO Seagull Studio, Architect and Urban Designer, based in Chennai, India

  • Session Moderator: Naksha Satish, Master of Architecture in Urban Design 2022, Harvard University, Architect and Urban Practitioner, based in Bangalore, India

Speakers Include:

  • S Krishnan, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance; Managing Director of the New Tirupur Area Development Corporation Limited, based in Chennai, India

  • Kenichi Yokoyama, Director General of Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) South Asia Department, based in the Philippines

  • Arif Hasan, Architect and Planner, based in Karachi, Pakistan

  • Kazi Khaleed Ashraf Architect, Architectural Historian and Critic, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh

  • Iromi Perera, Researcher and Activist, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Session 2

Climate Migration in

South Asia

Climate change induced displacement is a grim reality for South Asia’s densely populated regions. The problem is one of both time and scale. It extends beyond the local to impact people globally, as migration is not just an internal challenge but also impacts cross-border relations. This panel presents experts from diverse fields who will talk about the transformation necessary in international governance, policy, finance, and design to mitigate challenges that may leave the most vulnerable, helpless.  

  • Session Curator & Moderator: Nupur Gurjar, Harvard University, MDE ’21, Designer, Architect, based in Cambridge, MA

  • Session Keynote: Ms. Licypriya Kangujam, 9-Year-Old Climate Activist & Founder, The Child Movement


Speakers Include:

  • Abhas Jha, Practice Manager, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management (South Asia Region), The World Bank

  • Runa Khan, Founder & Executive Director, Friendship NGO, Bangladesh

  • Kashif Majeed Salik, Associate Research fellow at Sustainable Development Policy Institute, based in Islamabad, Pakistan

  • Sudipta Kumar Badapanda, Country Director, ActionAid, based in Kabul, Afghanistan

  • Pasang Dolma Sherpa, Executive Director, Center for Indigenous Peoples' Research and Development (CIPRED), based in Kathmandu, Nepal

Event Partners

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