Rahul Mehrotra to head Harvard School of Design
Washington, Oct 9, 2010
By Arun Kumar
America's prestigious Harvard University has appointed noted Indian urban designer and educator Rahul Mehrotra professor of Urban Design and Planning and chair of the department of Urban Planning and Design.
"I am especially pleased to have Rahul join our school's leadership at a time when the GSD and Harvard as a whole are strengthening their global engagement," said Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of the Graduate School of Design.
"His inspired work internationally as a teacher, practitioner, researcher, and community advocate makes him exceptionally qualified to contribute to the GSD's growing involvement with the challenges of urbanism around the world."
Harvard's South Asia Initiative has also invited him to be part of their steering committee as they define new areas of engagement in the region, the announcement said.
At the GSD, Mehrotra will teach and hold seminars on architecture and urbanisation in India, and work with students on research projects related to infrastructure, historic preservation, and questions of rapid growth and extreme urban conditions in South Asia.
He has long been actively involved in civic and urban affairs in Mumbai, having served on commissions on historic conservation and environmental issues, with various neighbourhood and citizens groups, and, from 1994 to 2004, as executive director of the Urban Design Research Institute.
This work, and his participation with both conservation and master planning projects in Mumbai, aligns closely with the GSD's increasing focus on design issues at varied scales throughout the world, it said.
Mehrotra studied at the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, and graduated with a master's degree in Urban Design from the GSD. He has taught at the University of Michigan (2003-2007) and at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at MIT (2007-2010).
Mehrotra has written and lectured extensively on issues to do with architecture, conservation, and urban planning in Mumbai and elsewhere in India.
His writings include co-authoring the book "Bombay-The Cities Within", which covers the city's urban history from the 1600s to the present, "Banganga-Sacred Tank", "Public Places Bombay", "Anchoring a City Line", a history of the city's commuter railway and "Bombay to Mumbai-Changing Perspectives".