Principal Investigator

Prof. Ayona Datta, Professor in Human Geography (University College London)

Ayona Datta

Prof. Datta’s research interests are in postcolonial urbanism, gender citizenship, and urban futures. Her work seeks to advance theoretical and empirical insights into postcolonial urbanism through the investigation of smart cities as experiments in urban citizenships. She is author of ‘The Illegal City: Space, law and gender in a Delhi squatter settlement’ (Ashgate, 2012); co-editor of Mega-Urbanisation in the Global South: Fast cities and new urban utopias of the postcolonial state’ (Routledge, 2017) and Translocal Geographies: Spaces, places, connections’  (Routledge, 2011). She is currently editor of Dialogues in Human Geography and Urban Geography. She is also on the editorial boards of Antipode, Gender, Place and Culture, and Society and Space. Ayona blogs as The city inside out.



Dr Padmini Ray Murray, Partner (Design Beku, Bengaluru)

Padmini Ray Murray

Padmini Ray Murray (PhD, Edinburgh) runs India’s first digital humanities Masters programme at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Her research encompasses feminism and feminist protest, cultural specificity and how it shapes design practices, creativity and technology, as well as games, comics and publishing studies. She was an Unbox Fellow in 2013, and served as a trustee on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation (UK) in 2014. Her work has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals and volumes, and she is also currently the co-investigator on Two Centuries of Indian Print’ (funded by the Newton Fund, UK).


Local Research Assistant (Delhi)

Arya Thomas, PhD Researcher (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)

Arya Thomas

Arya is PhD research scholar in Political Science in New Delhi, India. Having an interest in migration, women workers and sexuality, her work mostly focuses on trying to understand the emerging new sexual subjectivity of the working class women in the new industrial nodes in India.

Local Research Assistant (Bengaluru)

Syeda Zainab, Independent Researcher (Srishti School of Design)