Asian Advisory Board

Asian Architects and Educators are contributing their efforts to help Building Beauty grow and become a strong alternative to the status quo in architecture education. The Asian Advisory Board has been formed to help with the consolidation and further development of the program. Narendra Dengle and Munishwar Nath Ashish Ganju are leading this effort to bring together those who would like to see change. Narendra is an architect, educator and writer, based in Pune, India. Ashish is an architect and educator, based in New Delhi, India. Both served as external examiners at the end of Building Beauty's inaugural year.


Current members of the Asian Advisory Board appear below. If you would like to be a part of this effort, please contact Narendra at narendradengle@gmail, or Muni at


Aneeta Gokhale Benninger

Educator and Urban Planner, Pune, India

Prof. Aneeta Gokhale Benninger is a Founder Trustee and Executive Director of Centre for Development Studies and Activities (CDSA) and Professor of Sustainable Development Planning. As Urban and Regional Planner and Sustainable Development Professional, teacher and researcher she has taught at various premiere National Institutions in India. She was an advisor to the Planning Commission, GOI, The Royal Government of Bhutan, the Government of Sri Lanka, various State Governments in India, the World Bank and various agencies of the United Nations, such as, The UNICEF, The FAO, The UNDP, UNCHS (HABITAT). Her present work includes, the QCM (Quantified Cities Movement) QCM-DRR (Quantified Cities Movement for Disaster Risk Reduction) with a focus on children participating in the decision-making process, supported by UNICEF, Pune River Front Development with HCP Ltd. as local partners. She is currently a member of the jury for the Times of India & JSW Earth Care Awards. She also designs and conducts training for the Village Social Transformation Mission of the Maharashtra Chief Minister.


Pradnya Chauhan

Architect and Educator, Mumbai, India

Pradnya Chauhan is an architect. She received her Certificate of Equivalence to Ph.D. in Basic Design from Council of Architecture in 2009. She has a joint practice with her husband, for architectural projects as well as Interior projects. They have designed and built housing, schools, social institutions in India and Iraq. They have also designed offices, shopping centers, hotels, resorts and industrial buildings in India. She has been teaching at Rizvi College of Architecture from 1992 to date. She has been teaching Basic Design and Architectural Design and has formulated her own course material which involves study of elements, principles, concept of space, golden ratio, study of nature, learning from arts and crafts, inspiration from seven art forms, and analysis of built form. She uses Fifteen Fundamental Properties of Prof. Christopher Alexander as a framework for analysis of built form. She also teaches Architectural Design and she firmly believes that the social change can be brought about by understanding behavioral patterns with reference to built form. “People First” is her philosophy in teaching architectural design subjects. For last several years, she has been conducting Teachers Training Programs on behalf of Council of Architecture, India. For last four decades she is involved with designing and creating Macramé wall hangings, glass flute screens and Macramé jewelry. She is very passionate about designing and creating Macramé art works, she has participated in many exhibitions and her jewelry is being sold at prestigious fashion houses and shops.


Neelkanth Chhaya

Architect and Educator, Ahmedabad, India

Neelkanth is a practicing architect in Ahmedabad. He taught at the School of Architecture, CEPT, Ahmedabad from 1987 to 2013. After having practiced and taught in Nairobi, Kenya, from 1976-84, he moved base from Africa to India. He retired in 2013 as the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT, Ahmedabad. He has been greatly interested in teaching architecture and his practice is a reflection of his intense involvement with the school. He has researched and worked extensively in the domain of architecture that is socially and technologically appropriate. He and his associates have won several national competitions, and he has participated in International and National Conferences on Architecture and Education.


Ngoc Nguyen

Educator Da Nang, Da Nang, Vietnam

Ngoc Nguyen is a senior lecturer of urban planning and architecture at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Science and Technology, Danang University. His research interests are in sustainable urban form, specifically the generative codes and generative process and the measurement of coherent built environment through the Coherent Index. He was the Chair of the Faculty of Architecture, Danang University of Science and Technology.


Derya Oktay

Educator, Architect and Urban Designer, Samsun, Turkey

Derya Oktay is currently a Professor and Chair of Architecture at the Department of Architecture and the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at Ondokuz Mayıs University, Samsun, Turkey. Prior to her current position, she was the Founding Director of the MS in Urban Design Programme and a professor at Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus, and the Founding Director of the Urban Research & Development Center (URDC) at the same institution (1999-2013). In addition, she has served as the (elected) President of the Society for International Development (SID) Lefkosa Chapter in Cyprus. Her areas of research are sustainable urbanism and architecture, cultural-spatial aspects of cities and housing environments, urban identity, public spaces, livability and quality of urban life, beside her main field of expertise urban design. She has experience in both qualitative and empirical research. She has authored more than 100 publications including books, chapters in refereed books, refereed journal articles, conference papers and popular press articles. Her academic experience includes teaching courses on architectural design in urban contexts, urban design, sustainable development, socio-cultural aspects of housing environments and public spaces. She is currently on the Executive Board of Deans of Schools of Architecture, Turkey (MIDEKON), as the elected board member.


Aneerudha Paul

Architect, Engineer and Urbanist, Mumbai, India

Aneerudha is the Director of the Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture (KRVIA), Mumbai. Through the Design Cell he has been involved in research projects; engaged with various stakeholders like the government, community-based organizations, and communities, to inform and provide for alternative imaginations for a sustainable urban future. He is an advisor to the Collective Research Initiatives Trust (CRIT), which does research and intervention projects on contemporary cultural and spatial practices in the city of Mumbai. Through CRIT he is presently involved in working with issues of housing and slums in the inner city areas, assisting communities to develop their own plan for their neighborhoods. He has also participated and presented papers in numerous conferences and workshops on urbanism and architecture, and is actively involved in publishing in this field. He participates in many advisory government committees which assist and inform in the framing of policies on important architectural and urban projects in the country.


Educator, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India

Dr Savyasaachi is Professor at the department of sociology Jamia Millia Islamia. He has worked in the fields of political ecology, indigenous people, development, social movements, and conservation architecture. He has taught social anthropology to students of ‘conservation architecture, at the School of Planning and Architecture Delhi. At National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, he has taught weeklong SLA courses on Indian Society and culture, has been sharing with textile students ways of doing field work and Craft Documentation and has taught to a course of ‘visual language’. At NIRMA University Ahmedabad he has taught a course on :History of Objects’ to students of industrial design He has been in country faculty as well travelling Anthropology faculty for the International Honors Program. 

2017 Reverence for Life and Democracy in Leaf Litter (Special Edition) January; 2016 The Gift of Guru ki Maseet-Celebrating the Exemplary on the Frontiers of Social Sciences in Mahuya Bandopadhyay and Ritambhara Hebbar eds Towards a New Sociology in India. New Delhi, Orient Blackswan Pvt Ltd.; Primitive Accumulation, Labour and the Making of the ‘Scheduled Tribe’, ‘Indigenous’ and the Adivasi Sensibility in Meena Radhakrishna ed First Citizens-Studies on Adivasi, Tribals, and Indigenous Peoples in India. New Delhi, Oxford University Press; The Tiger and the Honey Bee in Nandini Sunder ed The Scheduled Tribes and their India-Politics, Identity and Work. New Delhi, Oxford University Press. (This article has been published for the third time); Hand-Crafted: Foundational Value, Creativity and Work in Threads of Change-Textile Cultures of North East India (Symposium Papers) IGNCA Delhi and NID Ahmedabad; Five Aspects of epistemological trust in Jauhar Vol 06 Issue 01 July-September 2016; With the Gaze on Injustice: Positioning Tribal People in the Wider Social Context in Journal of the National Human Rights Commission of India Vol 15,2016; 2015 Craft Architecture and History: Labour, Time and the Future in History of Architecture-Towards Writing from an Indigenous Perspective Proceedings of workshop September 18-20 2015. Bhopal, School of Planning and Architecture.

Biresh Shah

Architect and Educator, Kathmandu, Nepal

Biresh Shah has taught and practiced architecture, urban design and conservation, and planning in Kathmandu for twenty Years. He taught in the Architecture and Urban Planning Programs at the Tribhuwan University, from 1996 to 2008, as well as visiting faculty at Melbourne and SPA. He has written and lectured on the built environment of the Kathmandu Valley, and is keenly interested in the contemporary urbanism in South Asia. He studied at SPA, India and MIT, USA. He is the Founder/Director of ARCHIPLAN, in Kathmandu. Since 2011, Biresh has also been working on the planning and design of South Asian University Campus Project in New Delhi, a project awarded through an international competition.