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Short Biography

Vibhuti Sachdev qualified as an architect from the School of Planning and Architecture (New Delhi) in 1989. After a period spent in practice and research in India, she undertook a PhD in architectural theory at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), which she completed in 1996. She was later Lecturer in History of Art in the University of Sussex, a post that she left in 2004 to return to India. She has worked as independent writer and lecturer and as consultant on conservation projects.

Dr Sachdev is an authority on Vastu Vidya (India’s traditional architectural theory). Many of her publications concern this or related knowledge systems, and their expression in architecture and art. She has worked extensively on the city of Jaipur, focusing on its architecture and craft traditions. Of the four books she has written, she is the co-author of two books on the city. Building Jaipur (2002) uses Jaipur as a test case for exploring changes in planning theory and practice in India between the pre-colonial and post-modern eras. Jaipur City Palace (2008) discusses both the visual and social cultures of the city’s primary former royal residence. Since publishing these books, Dr Sachdev has been a consultant on the restoration of the Jal Mahal in Jaipur, was the design curator for the artwork of its pavilions and the co-curator of the exhibition ‘Painted Pleasures’. Her latest book is on the Festivals at the Jaipur Court. She joined Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Ansal University in 2014 and continues here as Dean of SSAA , and as the Director of the AU’s Creative Cluster of Architecture, Planning and Design.

Research Interests

Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Modernities, Urbanism, Building crafts and Heritage

Publications& Research


2014   Festivals at the Jaipur Court, Niyogi Books, New Delhi

2008   Jaipur City Palace, (co-authored with Giles Tillotson) Roli Books, New Delhi

2002   Building Jaipur: The Making of an Indian City, (co-authored with GilesTillotson) Reaktion Books, London and OUP New Delhi

1998   Indian Architectural Theory: Contemporary Uses of Vastu Vidya,Curzon Press, London, and OUP New Delhi

ARTICLES in journals and chapters

2014 ‘Street Wise’, Monthly Symposium: Seminar 660, Delhi

2014 ‘BharanyBhaav: The Dilemma of Modernism’, A Passionate Eye: Textiles,Paintings and Sculptures from the Bharany Collections, ed. Giles Tillotson, MargPublications, Mumbai

2013 ‘Restoring the Jal Mahal: Challenges and Opportunities’, Nehru Centre, Mumbai

2012‘Negotiating Modernity in the Princely State of Jaipur’, South Asian Studies, 28.2, pp 171-181

2011‘Paradigms for Design: the Vastu Vidya Codes of India’, Urban Coding and Planning, ed. Stephen Marshall, Routledge, London, pp 83-100

2008 ‘Depicting Kingship: Portraits of the Maharajas of Jaipur’, (with Giles Tillotson) inPortraits in Princely India 1700-1947, ed Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, Marg, Mumbai, pp. 98-109

2007 ‘Reading and Riding: Horses in Image and Text’, James Tod’s Rajasthan, ed.Giles Tillotson, Marg Publications, Mumbai, pp. 36-47

2006   Fifty-One Flowers: Botanical Watercolours from Bengal, with William Chubband Henry Noltie, Hobhouse Ltd., London

2005 ‘A Vastu Text in the Modern Age: Vishvakarma Darpan, 1969’, Journal of theRoyal Asiatic Society, Vol. 15 Part 2, pp. 165-178

2003 ‘In a Maze of Lines: The Theory of Design of Jaalis’, South Asian Studies,Vol. 19, pp. 141-155

2001 ‘Mandala by Design: The Courtyard of a Haveli Temple in Jaipur’, Stones in theSand: TheArchitecture of Rajasthan, ed. Giles Tillotson, Mumbai, pp. 28-41

2000 ‘Orientation by Numbers: the Aya Formula of Indian Architectural Theory’South Asian Studies, Vol. 16, pp. 45-54

1998 ‘Looking Beyond Directions: On Uses of Vastu Vidya’, Architecture + DesignVol. 15 No. 5, pp. 42-4

1997 ‘Three entries on Indic architecture and theory’ in Encyclopedia of VernacularArchitecture of the World, ed. Paul Oliver, Cambridge University Press

Awards, Achievements and Affiliations

  1. Felix Scholarship Awarded for PhD study (1993-1996)
  2. Life Member of Indian Institute of Architects
  3. Life Member of Council of Architecture
  4. Member, Board of Studies, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi