Arzu Mistry is an educator and artist. She is a faculty at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Arzu maintains a high level of dedication and enthusiasm for the arts, as mediums for pedagogy, advocacy, transformation, and intervention for the building of sustainable inclusive communities. Arzu facilitates the Art in Transit and placeARTS public art projects in Bangalore and internationally with the hope that art can facilitate dialogue between people and the urban spaces they inhabit.
Indira Chowdhury is an oral historian passionate about collecting people’s stories. A PhD in history, she has been a professor of English, an encyclopedia editor, a translator, a lexicographer, an archivist, a historian of science, an entrepreneur and a writer. Indira was awarded the Tagore Prize in 2001 for her book The Frail Hero and Virile History (OUP, 1998). Indira is the Director of the Centre for Public History at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru.
Toy Art Revivalist + Entrepreneur
This year’s speaker, Karthik Vaidyanathan, is an Engineer-MBA by qualification, who works in music, radio and telecom at international companies, where he still consults in design. His project, “Varnam Craft Collective” was born during a trip to Mysore enroute Channapatna. The colourful toys of Channapatna left him fascinated and a few visits later, the designs of the Varnam Collective were published. Today, Karthik is a pioneer in reinventing traditional toy craft.
Ketaki Sheth has been a photographer for 30 years. She works on self-commissioned projects which sometimes take years to complete. Her work includes a 4 year project on Patel Twins in Britain and India (Twinspotting, Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK, 1999), 20 years of photographing Bombay’s streets (Bombay Mix, Dewi Lewis Publishing 2007), A Certain Grace: The Sidi, Indians of African Descent (Photoink, New Delhi, 2012) and her just completed first work in colour “Still Lives” due for publication.
Ramaswamy Subramanian is a scientist and a teacher whose laboratory interests lie in a few areas. Currently a senior professor at Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem), he believes that science is a social activity. According to him, the best science happens when people of different views and expertise collide. He spends a lot of his time thinking about methods to create an environment to increase collisions and increase the probability of catalysing a disruptive innovation.
Medical Technology Entrepreneur
Vijayasimha Ajarananda is a tinkerer, inventor, entrepreneur, mentor and a medical technology evangelist. He has established 9 distinct running enterprises across 4 continents in the area of analytical sciences, biotechnology and bioprocess engineering, semiconductor fabrication, factory automation, aerospace and medical devices.