Madhavi Desai has a Bachelors in Architecture from the School of Architecture, CEPT, Ahmedabad, (1974) and a Masters in Architecture from the University of Texas, Austin, USA (1978). She shares an architectural practice with Miki Desai under the studio name "ARCHICRAFTS" in Ahmedabad since 1981 and is an adjunct faculty at the School of Architecture, CEPT since 1987. She had a Senior Research Fellowship of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi (1989 - 1991) and a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture in MIT, USA (1994). She was a Council Member of the Indian Institute of Architects (1991 - 1994). Besides two books, she has published several articles and has presented papers at seminars, in India and abroad.

This profuxsely illustrated book is perhaps the first comprehensive work covering the history of Indian architecture in the given period. It studies attempts to exert an Indian identity through the built environment, exploring the impact of political ideology. It includes rich architectural antecedents, impact of international movements as well as contemporary works that show the collective confidence of the emerging generation of Indian architects.

'Traditional Bohra Dwellings of Gujarat - An Architectural Response to Cultural Ethos' - Book, authored by Madhavi. It reviews the rich and living vernacular system of houses in towns of Gujarat. Built for the Islamic community of Bohras, this house form is based on the existing regional model that was not only transformed to respond to the religious/cultural needs but also reached a new level of aesthetic sophistication. Shaped by a complex set of influences, colonial references in image making and carefully ornamented by Hindu craftsmen, these dwellings with their rich interiors represent an eclectic expression that celebrates the vernacular in Indian heritage.


She conceptualised and designed perhaps the first Indian Heritage Workshop on 'Children and Architecture' at the School of Architecture, CEPT, Ahmedabad (1991), with Miki Desai. The built environment is a vast resource as well as a tool for multi-disciplinary learning. Through its study, children can gain knowledge about history, the sense of place, relationship to one's culture and also develop visual acuity to experience life. Through various activities, the exercises attempted to draw out the skills and imagination of the children through the creative process; to enhance the power of observation, analysis and self-expression and to develop respect for urban as well as rural environments.

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