Community

ARCHITECTS

Kiran Vaghela

Engineer, Self-taught Architect, Founder (Hunnarshala Foundation for Building Solutions, AVK and Studio Dot)


Kiran Vaghela is the Founder Director at Hunnarshala Foundation for Building Technology and Innovation and a Partner at Studio Dot. He is a civil engineer by education and a self-taught architect and innovator. He taps the skills of the artisans and their indigenous knowledge of resilient building systems to innovate it further for contemporary application. Using this traditional wisdom in architecture today, Kiran creates possibilities of such explorations for designers around the world. With the use of participatory approach, he has worked with many communities for their disaster rehabilitation work. His contribution in the field of reviving lost techniques is immeasurable. He is one of the founder members at AVK and plays an active role in shaping the organization.

Tejas Kotak

Director (Hunnarshala Foundation for Building Solutions)


Hunnarshala offers its knowledge and skills for building designs, settlements planning, social housing, disaster reconstruction, wastewater treatment systems and infrastructure development. Tejas Kotak is the Director of Hunnarshala and an active member at AVK. He also conducts the Earth Building workshops to impart technical knowledge to students and professionals alike.

Satya Vaghela

Architect and Founder (Studio Dot)


Studio Dot is a multi-disciplinary design studio exploring and experimenting with contextual architecture, furniture and product design. It works in close affiliation with artisans, artists and architects and are on a journey to find the values that define contextual design.
Studio Dot has played the role of an Architect for the A Cube Project at Art Village.

Ambika Jaykumar

Creative Head (AVK), Architect (The Aud Architecture Lab)


Being a part of the core AVK team, Ambika runs the programme design and outreach wing of the organizations. She creatively co-manages the functioning of the space. Her interest is in building the AVK pedagogy and for learning through interdisciplinary art collaboration.
Her practice, AUD Architecture Lab (TAAL) works primarily in architectural research and design execution. The driving focus of TAAL is studying the potential of sound and vibration energy in architecture and creating sound spaces, acoustically and experientially.

Mukund Iyer

Architect (Sochalaya)


Through years of extensive and exploratory travel, Mukund Iyer has developed a new perspective to his art; he calls it ‘the Art of Unconditioning.’ Marrying his training as an architect and belief in making things sustainable, he started practicing natural building and eventually found himself drifting more into art. If he could, he would love to live in a forest! Thought provoking in approach, Mukund stirs magic at AVK with his art of unconditioning workshops.

Poornashri Kandade

Former Marketing and Outreach head (AVK)


Poornashri is an Architect by profession, and an aspiring art and design strategist. She continues researching on her passion project, The revival Collaborative, to revive ancient art forms that stemmed from her architecture thesis. Currently she is away to pursue her master’s degree in strategic Product Design at TU Delft, Netherlands. She has been and continues to be a support system to AVK.

Sneha Mathew

Farming Faculty (AVK)


Sneha is an architect with experience in Landscape Architecture and Earth construction. Her interests in farming practices, gardening and maintenance inform her of a mindful and conscientious approach towards sustainable living. She envisions to implement sustainable solutions at Art Village and mould the project into a self-regulatory system. Sneha also conducts the Farming sessions for guests at AVK.

Rishit and Bhavin

Architects (Unit 93)


UNIT 93 is a bold experimental design unit exploring in the realm of Architecture, Interior & Product Design (93 Objects) based in Charni Road, Mumbai. Being avid material researchers, founders Rishit Jain and Bhavin Patel are currently actively exploring concrete as a medium and enjoying the fluidity that it has to offer. Their love for concrete and desire to experiment with materials is quite evident through the outdoor furniture works done at the AVK campus.

ARTISTS

Ganga Kadakia

Illustrator, Writer and Founder (AVK)


Ganga Kadakia is the founder of the Art Village. She conceptualized the project, and breathes her energy into every department of its running. After her initial years at JJ school of Art, she chose to detach from the ‘system’ and be self-taught. She has her independent Art practise in Mumbai. Her love for Nature and Art keeps her shuffling between AVK and her studio. Innovating new methods to introduce Art and Culture into society is her drive at AVK and as an Artist faculty, she conducts multimedia workshops in the space.

Savia Mahajan

Artist and Founder (AVK)


Savia Mahajan began her formal artistic training in her home city of Mumbai. Though she trained as a painter, since 2010, Savia’s practice began moving away from the medium of painting, towards ceramics. Her bold and exploratory work has taken her to the likes of the Indian Ceramics Triennale and the Art Basel, Hong Kong. She has been instrumental in the A Cube Project at AVK, as a founder member and an Artist.

Pieter Weltevrede

Artist (Sanathan Society)


Pieter Weltevrede is an Artist based in Holland. He is a student of the late Harish Johari School. Pieter uses a watercolour technique, that comes from the Shanti Niketan of Rabhindranath Tagore School. With paint washes he creates the desired mood. Harish Johari modified this technique and brought it to silk with his Teacher. As a model he took the body proportions of the ancient temples like Elephanta, Ellora, Khajuraho and Ajanta. This way he created a new style of spiritual painting. Pieter conducts the Yantra Mandala workshops at AVK annually.

Dilip Chobisa

Artist


Dilip Chobisa is a contemporary Indian artist based in Vadodara, Gujarat. Born in 1978, he graduated from the prestigious faculty of fine arts at the MS University of Baroda, with a B.V.A and an M.V.A in sculpture. Dilips subtle toned artworks, executed mostly in graphite, depict structured spaces with a fantastical touch. He conducts immersive fine art workshops with corporate groups at AVK.

Sumedha Sah

Architect, Artist (The Umbrella Bar)


Sumedha is a self-taught Illustrator. She has a master's degree in Sustainable Architecture. She divides her time between working as an Architect, and working as a freelance Illustrator. Her work is a combination of art and design while taking inspiration from her interest in the subject of Sustainability. She is the Illustrator for the Adult colouring book at AVK.

Ashok Giri

Calligrapher and Letterer


Ashok Giri is a perfectionist in multiple disciplines. Besides being an Integrated Creative Director in a multinational advertising agency, he’s also an extremely passionate calligraphist at AVK. Having rekindled his hobby of Calligraphy & Typography after a void of 16 years, he is now an expert in 16th Century Copperplate script, also known as Engrossers script. His specialty areas also include Gothic, Italics, Business Handwriting, Spencerian and Uncial hand to name a few.

Taking his passion for calligraphy forward, Ashok established Joy & Ash Calligraphy - in association with renowned American calligrapher Joy - with one vision: To spread the knowledge and expertise of this art form worldwide. His vision to reinvigorate a dying art form has seem him mentor over 100+ students nationally and internationally. His inspiration being the 'Pay it Forward' philosophy, has been passed on to him by his mentors. Ashok has had the good fortune of being mentored by MasterPenman Michael R. Sull, Dr. Joe Vitolo, Jake Weidmann, Salman Khattak, Barbara Close and Bill Kemp to name a few.

POTTERS AND CERAMISTS

Khushboo Madnani

Potter and Ceramist (Kriya Pottery Studio)


Khushboo is a Mumbai based Artist. Khushboo’s ceramic work is defined directly by her love for nature. Whether it is a landscape or natural objects, they find their way in her works. At her studio, she creates a vast array of functional ceramics and sculptural works along. She conducts various workshops designed for corporates, children and adults. She is a regular at AVK and has been involved in creating and conducting terracotta pottery workshops.

Manasvi Mhatre

Potter and Ceramist(Creta ceramica)


Manasvi works out of her Pottery studio in Karjat India. She has completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics. The studio offers a unique look of raw and hard fired art ware in combination with glaze effects creating functional tableware, wall and ceiling murals with a twists art work. She is working in a boutique range of handcrafted products that exude an aesthetic fun and extend art into everyday lives. Manasvi works with all audiences at AVK.

Shreekant Narayan

Potter and Ceramist


Shreekant has been a practising potter for the last 10 years. He has graduated from Khadi Gram Udyog in Mumbai. His practise ranges from Exhibiting at festivals and teaching in various institutes. He likes to create functional pieces in stone ware. He takes workshops at AVK and is particularly great working with kids.

Prachi Ghanekar

Ceramic Artist


Prachi has completed her Bachelors in Fine Arts, specializing in Ceramics and Pottery from Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. She has worked at Studio One-6, assisting Ceramist Yashashri Shildhankar for 2 years, working on restaurant consignments, pottery workshops and idol making workshops. She simultaneously developed her pottery skills from Chough Seong-hee. She currently practices Pottery as a freelancer. She conducts the pottery sessions at AVK.

Anupama Pant

Potter and Ceramist


Anupama Pant started her journey with clay in a hobby class in Dubai in the year 1994.At the end of three months she had found her calling.

A lot of practice, mistakes and experimentation, reading innumerable books kept her going. Anu started ‘Earth to Fire ‘ her independent studio in 2005 in Bandra Mumbai to share her joy in the medium teaching all age groups from 6 years to 75 years. To Anupama teaching is not just about sharing knowledge but also about learning from the students. A free flow of ideas, thoughts ,concepts etc is the basis of all creativity according to her.

Along the way Anu has participated in 3 group shows (Clay Chakra) ceramic art exhibitions as well as an amazing ‘Boot’ installation for the 10th anniversary in the Kala Ghoda Festival. She has held a show ‘In Tandem’ with Vanmala Jain at Artist Centre Mumbai.

Having relocated to Pune Anupama now concentrates mainly on her own work and curates very focused workshops for kids and adults alike.

She continues to show her work in Pune and is grateful for this amazing journey in clay. She has conducted Corporate programs and master classes at the art village.

MUSICIANS

Kunal Naik

Musician


Kunal Naik, is a Mumbai based multidisciplinary artist. As an Assemblage artist, a self-taught Mouth Harpist and an actor, he is constantly exploring various mediums to express himself. His grandfather Mr. Sunder Rao Naik was a photographer from Cochin who saw creativity in everything. He would come back with curios in his pocket every evening after his walk and in no time would create a masterpiece, Kunal attributes his artistic side to experiences with his grandfather. Kunal conducts sessions at AVK on music and is an active member AVK. He has also exhibited his works there.

Krishnan Sankaran

Folk fusion music (Atmanam)


K.S.Krishnan, Popularly known as “Atma” is a musician known for his abstract musical ideas on life and existence. With a deep rooting in a range of Indian classical and traditional music, Krishnan explores music under the collaborative group “Atmanaam” He is known for his groovy, ear wormy compositions and travels around India sharing his musical ideas with folks he comes across.

Nishant .S. Venkatesh

Hindustani Vocalist


Nishant is a freelance vocal instructor, singer and performer. He has completed his master’s degree from Khairagarh University in Hindustani vocals. For the past 10 years he has been trying to make singing a fun activity, while also being enriching and transforming for his students. He has been associated with AVK, conducting many workshops in the past and now continues to grow in his own practise.

Karteekeya Dixit

Tabla Player, Project Manager (AVK)


Karteek manages all departments at AVK including hospitality. He is very enthusiastic and passionate about music and food. He loves to explore the kitchen and try his hand at new dishes. Karteek has received his Grand certificate in international hospitality management accredited by Hotel school the HAGUE, International Institute for Hospitality Management, The Netherlands 2011-2012 with 1st division. On an active basis, he conducts the paper making workshops at AVK.

THEATRE MAKERS

Maneesh Verma

Actors and Theatre Makers (Collective Madness)


Maneesh is the Producer and Director at Collective Madness, a company that offers solutions for corporate workshops and theatre performances. He is a National School of Drama graduate and works as a professional actor and theatre director. Working in the field since 1996 with the likes of Microsoft and other big MNCS, Maneesh conducts corporate theatre workshops at AVK - to use the power of process drama in team building and leadership.

Kalyani Hiwale

Theatre Maker (Collective Madness)


Kalyani is a National School of Drama graduate. She is a theatre director and facilitator. Kalyani has an extensive 15 years of experience in theatre education and now she works as a theatre consultant to train teachers to use theatre in classrooms. She conducts workshops for all age groups at AVK.

PAPER MAKING

Pranav Gajjar

Architect, Paper Maker (Industhan)


Pranav Gajjar is the brain behind Industhan. He has studied Architecture from CEPT University in Ahmedabad. An entrepreneur in the fields of design and Paper making he has set up many Paper making units in and around Gujarat. The Indian-ness in his approach drives his practice. The insistence on handmade manufacturing processes in all his products is critical to design. Industhan embraces the need to have an inclusive approach towards new technologies. He conducts the Paper making masterclass at AVK.

Clay Club

Architecture, Ceramics and Handmade Paper


Clay Club is based in Ahmedabad, India. In practice, The Clay Club engages with three medias – Architecture, Ceramics and Handmade Paper. Clay Club employs design, communication and social innovation as means to address societal challenges in a contextual manner. They conduct the Paper Making workshops at AVK.

PRINT MAKING

Pooja Shinde

Print Maker (The Impression art studio)


Pooja Shinde has completed her masters in Printmaking and is a gold medallist from Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. She has specialized in the Etching Technique and is always keen to explore other techniques like cyanotype, lithograph and silkscreen. Her deep interest in nature reflects in her artistic pursuit. She has exhibited in group shows and conducts workshops all over India. She is a founder of The Impression Art Studio, a platform where artists express themselves and grow with each other without any boundaries and restrictions.

CURATORS

Prachi Dalal

Experience Designer/Curator, Educator and Kathak Dancer


Prachi has worked in the space of progressive education, arts programming, museum education, sustainable tourism, cultural heritage interpretation and community engagement. She is passionate about curating authentic experiences to make living heritage, history and culture accessible to diverse audiences. She is a trained Kathak dancer. She currently works at the Ascend International School. Prachi is actively involved in curating learning programmes at AVK.

ASTRONOMER AND SCIENTIST

Abhishek Chitnis

Scientist (New horizon of astronomy)


Abhishek Chitnis has completed his PhD from BARC in High Pressure Physics. He has carried out research on the Annual Solar Eclipse of 2015. He is an author of various research articles (6 articles) published in international journal and is the Founder of New Horizon of Astronomy (NHA). NHA is dedicated to popularizing Astronomy among the masses, recently extensively involved in conducting lecture series on Astronomy and Astrophysics, stargazing session, study tour and hands on activities with telescopes. He takes the astronomy sessions at AVK and shows people the other side of the universe.

Chintamani Pai

Astronomer and Scientist


Chintamani is a PhD student working in the area of magnetic nanoparticles, magnetic fluids and their interaction with electromagnetic waves. His research work has potential applications in healthcare, aerospace and other areas. His other broad research interests include Photonics, Magnetism, Space Science and Space Technology. Chintamani is associated with Art Village for their Space outreach events.

DANCERS

Sumeet Nagdev and Sasha Nagdev

Dancers - Sumeet Nagdev Dance Arts (SNDA)


Sumeet Nagdev Dance Arts - SNDA started on 26th April 2007 by 20 year olds Sasha and Sumeet Nagdev while they were graduating from college in Mass Media and Management studies respectively. SNDA’s vision has been to promote inclusive dance arts amongst the youth of India, keeping Indian culture and its rich artistic history as the foundation while also allowing new ideas to prosper in the light of the present. To nurture this vision, SNDA runs an Academy division for community and professional programs with organised and structured curriculums in various dance and creative movement subjects. They conduct the contemporary dance workshops and creative movement sessions at AVK.

Parinda Singh and Megha Desai

Indian Contemporary Dancers (Tribe of Taal)


Tribe of Taal Indian Contemporary Dance company that draws from centuries of native dance forms and the rising energies of now. Founded by Megha Desai and Parinda Singh, trained dancers in Indian Classical and Folk-dance forms, it is an effort to bring their vision of keeping the interest in Indian culture alive through dance. They teach, perform, choreograph, produce and collaborate to spread the joy of dance amongst people of all age groups across the world. They create their magic at AVK through performances and workshops.

YOGA AND SPIRITUALITY

Neyphug Trulku

9th Rinpoche of Paro Bhutan (Neyphug Monastery)


Since his graduation as a Professor of Buddhism, Rinpoche has been invited to give teachings, classes and other models of empowerments in different countries. He is a popular teacher because of his warm personality, sense of humour, compassion, and profoundness. He runs an orphanage where he houses and educates over 120 monks and has recently established a café called, “Your Café” in Paro. He is connected with the Art Village on many fronts, including Inaugurating the Meditation Centre.

Ganga Puri Rox

Yogi, Santosh Puri Ashram


Ganga Puri enjoys the privilege of being born in Haridwar (the Gate of Heaven), India, on the banks of the holy river Ganga, in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Ashram he runs offers guidance, lectures, yoga classes and lessons; all based on a special concern and love for humanity. They focus on the sincere concern to help one find truth (sense) in life, light and peace. Ganga conducts the Yoga Camps at AVK.

Tulshi Ram Kohli

Yoga trainer


Tulshiram is a yoga trainer. He has his individual practise and is based out of Mumbai India. He also practises flexibility and therapy for the body with the Indian Air Force, corporates, hotels and different organizations. He was recently chosen from AYM school in Rishikesh for his intense 300 Hrs in Yoga. Tulshi takes the Yoga sessions at AVK for all age groups.

NATURE AND OUTDOORS

Akash Chourasiya 

Farmer, Founder (Unnat Krishi Abhiyan)


Akash Chaurasia is a true born of the soil. He has dedicated his life to understanding and developing genuine farming practices in India. He has single handedly empowered hundreds of farmers across India. He has numerous accolades to his name, being recognized even by the Prime Minister of India for his incredible work. He is from Sagar District in Madhya Pradesh. Known for giving direction to traditional farming techniques like organic agriculture and devising multi-layer agriculture, Akash's dream is to have a pesticide free India where each of us can truly let our food grow us!

Amol Pendharkar

Wildlife Expert and lepidopterist (Starling trails)


Amol Pendharkar, a wildlife ecologist and lepidopterist has been mapping all the wildlife at AVK and creating bird charts, adult colouring books and field guides for the various programs held at AVK. He has been instrumental in creating the famous Papilion Butterfly Garden in Pune. Amol is Based in Thane India and along with his wife Nupoor creates unique experiences for travellers around the country. They have recently opened a home stay in Leh.

Harsh Lunia

Horse whisperer, Equestrian (Sunny Brooks StudFarm)


Harsh Lunia has been associated with horses from the last 15 years. His knowledge about horses, horse breeds, their relation to man through the ages in the Indian context, how to approach them, what it takes to love, nurture and groom a horse is exceptional. Harsh is one of the rare experts on Horse breeding and how to bring up the gorgeous animal. He conducts talks and workshops at AVK about horses.

Divesh and Vineeta Muni

Trekkers (The Himalayan Club)


For both husband-wife Divyesh and Vineeta, they found that it was the love for mountains that had brought them together. For the past thirty years, they have been travelling from one mountain to another, for the sheer excitement of exploring wonderful and rugged landscapes. No boundary has ever stopped them from any expeditions. In their minds, they believe that nothing is impossible. They give talks and lectures at AVK for outdoor enthusiasts.

WEAVERS

Tanvi Parab and Akshata Mokashi

Weavers and Art practitioners


Tanvi and Akshata have academic, practical and hands on experience with textiles. They’re now practicing research with explorations in the subject. Implementing the intuition found in art into the medium of textile, the duo introduced weaving as an art and skill to engage through workshops at AVK.

TRADITIONAL ARTS

Sunil Dharkar

Artisan and Artist in tribal art forms and Sculpture


Sunil is an artisan from Dharampur district in south Gujarat graduated from Karigarshala at Bhuj. He found his passion for construction near the end of his formal school education in 12th grade. Traditionally belonging to a community which works on Warli painting and sculpting, he found his love for detailing in construction. He has worked with Studio Dot for prototyping and exploring avenues for innovation and creativity. He is seeing the A-Cube Collaborative as a platform for doing what he loves.

Universe Maharana

Pattachitra and Taalpatra master artist, Raghurajpur, Orissa


Universe comes from a family of artists who have practiced the art of Pattachitra painting and palm leaf engraving for generations. He learnt his art from his father and grandmother, and is committed to keeping these art forms alive. He takes master class workshops at AVK and is also associated with the revival of Indian art forms wing at AVK.

WOOD WORKING

Viren Vaz

Wood worker (V for Wood)


Viren Vaz, is an artist faculty at the Art Village, Karjat. Being a former software professional, Viren is now a full-time woodworker. For the last 10 years, he has turned out items of furniture ranging from a small shoe rack to a large 7×6 ft bed. He also makes wood puzzles and miniature furniture and is obsessed with designs that do not need metal fasteners. He has worked at maker spaces whilst also setting up one of the only woodworking studios in Mumbai. His playful yet technical approach makes him as eager a learner as he is a teacher. He conducts regular classes at his Chembur studio called V for wood.

STRATEGY AND PLANNING

Kunal Kadakia

Founder (AVK)


Kunal Kadakia is the founder of Art Village. All the planning, strategy and vision building for the organization stems from his guidance. Kunal has majored in finance and is an industrialist by profession. Between his industry and AVK he strikes a balance and sets goals for the AVK team.

Kunal Vora

Branding Head at AVK (ABND)


Kunal Vora is the founder member of ABND, a branding company focused on the growth of Small and Medium Businesses. They believe that growth is about taking right decisions, and so is branding. When done right, branding fuels growth. And it is all about how SMBs can achieve their true potential by maximizing reach, visibility and returns. Kunal’s company and branding efforts have been instrumental to AVK’s graphical and visual presence.

SISTER HOODS