Rajeev Kathpalia is a partner at Vastu Shilpa Consultants or VSC, the multi-disciplinary practice founded by the Pritzker laureate Balkrishna Doshi. Kathpalia’s work integrates frugal and environmentally responsible strategies to create inclusive habitats for people. Renowned for his institutional designs, he has won several national and international competitions.
Designing across a range of scales, Kathpalia’s practice encompasses regional and city plans, institutional campuses, individual buildings, and furniture. His net zero approach to campus design, which integrates architecture, landscape, ecology, energy generation and management - both human and mechanical - while creating an equitable and inclusive social milieu, has set new benchmarks for sustainability and innovation.
Kathpalia serves as a trustee and is a former director of the Vastu Shilpa Foundation, a research based, non-profit charitable trust. The organisation creates environmental and habitat designs for the poor, and has worked extensively in informal settlements to create low-cost housing. He also runs the Foundation's International Habitat Studio Program, which brings together students from across India and around the globe. He was recognised with the Prime Minister’s Award for innovative Urban Design for his pioneering advocacy and design work on the inner city of Hyderabad within the Charminar precinct.
Kathpalia earned his Bachelors degree in Architecture from the Chandigarh College of Architecture and his Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Washington University. For the past 30 years, he has also taught as a university professor, lecturing extensively in India and abroad, and receiving several honours and awards. Most recently, he was conferred the 2019 Award for Distinction in Architecture by Washington University USA, and has also been appointed as Honorary Professor at the Xia Jiaotong - Liverpool University, Suzhou, China.