Sunil Khilnani is currently Avantha Professor and Director of the India Institute at King's College London. Born in Delhi and educated at Trinity Hall and King's College, Cambridge, he was formerly Starr Foundation Professor and Director of South Asia Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC, a program he established. His publications include the acclaimed and influential The Idea of India (6th edn., 2016). His most recent book is Incarnations: India in 50 Lives, produced also as a radio and podcast version with the BBC, which tells the history of India through the lives of fifty individuals, from the Buddha to Ambani, and encompassing rulers, artists, poets, musicians, philosophers, mathematicians and photographers.
Sunil Khilnani will talk about the notion of utopian design across the span of Indian history
James set up his architectural studio, Project Orange, with his partner Christopher Ash in 1997. They work globally, often on residential and hotel projects, and value the role research plays in shaping practice. The ethos of the studio is to foster eclectic design stories that intensify the brief and deliver valuable spaces and experiences. Having travelled extensively around India during 1991 he began designing there in 1998 and in 2013 was invited to be part of the UKTI Business Delegation to India led by the Prime Minister.
He is also active within architectural education and is currently the Director of Critical Practice at the new London School of Architecture while co-editing and writing for 'A gendered Profession' to be published by the RIBA in October 2016.
Alice Cicolini is a designer and creative commissioner, curator of several international touring exhibitions on design and a published author, including a book on contemporary British dandyism, The New English Dandy, for Thames & Hudson.
She is a Research Associate at Central St Martins, where she graduated in 2009 with a Masters in Jewellery Design. Formerly Director Arts & Culture for the British Council in India, she remains closely involved with Indian craft and design, producing unique jewellery for her label Alice Cicolini distributed by Dover Street Market and Net A Porter.
Ayush Kasliwal, an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, is one of India's leading design thinkers, practitioners and advocates for artisans. Ayush is Creative Director and Co founder of AKFD & AnanTaya, interdisciplinary design companies based in Jaipur, India. All aspects of the business practices of AKFD and AnanTaya reflect social consciousness, sustainability.
Ayush is the winner of first Messe Frankfurt, India 2015, EDIDA India, Designer of the year 2013. He won the Best of Year Awards 2015: USA by Interior Design Magazine.Ayush was the finalist of CII Design Awards 2015, India's Best Design Studio by Pool magazine 2015, 2016. The UNESCO Award of Excellence recognized his designs in 2007 and 2008. Edition Nouveau Objet (ENO), France, launched Ayush as a designer. Showcased in the Talents a la Carte section of 'Maison et Object' in Paris and a finalist in the British Council's Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards 2011, he has licensed products to MATER, a Danish ethical design house.
He collaborated with Incubis' sculptural installation at Delhi International Airport Terminal T3. Ayush's work is informed by traditional crafts and artisans and it reflects a deep understanding of mythology, architecture and culture through a contemporary aesthetic. He believes that "Objects are messages in physical form".
A prominent business woman and one of the most revered personalities in the hospitality industry; Priya Paul is the creative powerhouse behind country's leading collection of contemporary luxury boutique hotels - The Park. She has been working in the industry for the last 25 years and has worked hard to create experiences that are different, extraordinary and inexplicable.
Priya Paul has been honored as a forbearer of the contemporary travel industry alongside Ian Schrager, Nick Jones and others at the LE Miami 2015, the world's first invitation-only travel tradeshow to reflect the shift in luxury and contemporary travel.
Priya Paul has also been conferred with the insignia of Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite (National Order of Merit) in 2014 for her significant contribution to strengthening links between India and France. She has been awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour, for her services to Trade & Industry by the President of India.