Dr. Shilpa Das

Shilpa Das is a Senior Faculty member in Interdisciplinary Design Studies at NID. She is currently Head, PhD Programme at NID. She is also Presiding Officer, Sexual Harassment Committee across Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Gandhinagar campuses of NID. Since 2004, Dr. Shilpa Das has been heading Inter-Disciplinary Design Studies and Science and Liberal Arts Studies at NID. An alumnus of JNU New Delhi (MA) and TISS Mumbai (PhD), she has cumulative work experience of 24 years in the education, publishing, and voluntary sectors.

At NID and elsewhere, Shilpa teaches Comparative Aesthetics, Semiotics and Communication, History of Design, History of Art, Indian Art and Culture, Narrative Theory, Indian Story Telling Traditions, Universal Design Perspectives, Approaches to Indian Society, Identity and Subjectivity, Cultural Studies, Form and Emotion, Form and Culture, Disability Theory, Craft Documentation, English Literature, Indian Philosophy, and Research Methodology.

She has guided about 80 graduation projects and innumerable classroom projects across different disciplines at NID, besides several Masters Theses at CEPT University. Shilpa has been the Founding Co-Editor of two prominent publications brought out by the Research and Publications department of NID—The Trellis, a research based publication and a magazine called D/signed. She is the editor, author and creative visualizer of the book “50 Years of the National Institute of Design: 1961-2011” published in 2013; and co-editor of the book, “Indian Crafts in a Globalizing World” published in 2017.

At NID, she has been involved in various outreach and consultancy projects, notably, a project on strategic behaviour change with respect to persons with disabilities for Handicap International and Department of Health and Family Welfare for the Government of Gujarat; Ananya, a book on Indian women for the Ministry of Women and Child Development and Sanchar Shakti, a book on information communication technology and women’s empowerment for the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India; a Special Cover on NID to commemorate its Golden Jubilee in 2011 with the Department of Posts and Telegraph, Government of India.

In 2004, she organised and co-anchored the first international conference on Indian Crafts in India, named, “Indian Crafts: The Future in A Globalising World”. In 2018, she is organizing and convening “Insight 2018”, an international Conference on Design Research at NID. For eight years, she along with a colleague collaborated with faculty members from Konstfack University, Sweden and Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship to conduct think tanks on future forecasting. In 2014-15, she along with an NID colleague and a faculty from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, was a resource person and research team member of the “Living Blue Design Anthropology” project sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. She is currently working on a research project, “Social Transformation and Indian Crafts Heritage (STITCH)” along with a colleague at NID and faculty members from Lucerne School of Art and Design, Switzerland.

At NID, she has been Head, NID Publications from 2007-2014; Head, Fellowship Programme 2014-2015; and Head, Research Advisory Panel 2007-2009. Over the years, she has been on several committees at NID notably Credit and Evaluation Committee, PhD Research Committee, Ford Foundation Review Committee, Academic Grievance Redressal Committee, Website Designing Committee, Academic Reform Committee, UG Advisory panel 2007-2009, Knowledge Management and Information Services Advisory Panel, 2007-2013, Sexual Harrassment Committee 2006-2018, Publications advisory Panel 2004-2006, Coordinator Open Electives 2005, and on several admissions panels among others.

She has been Visiting Faculty at Marist College in New York; HTW Berlin, Germany; Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia; School of Art and Design, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Lucerne, Switzerland; School of Architecture CEPT, Ahmedabad; School of Planning, CEPT, Ahmedabad; School of Interior Design, CEPT Ahmedabad; Centre for Media and Communication, Department of Humanities, CEPT University; Centre for Arts Journalism, CEPT University, Ahmedabad; School of Liberal Studies, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Petroleum University, Gandhinagar; Central University, Gandhinagar; IDC IIT Bombay; D J Academy of Design, Coimbatore; Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar, and H.A. College of Commerce, Ahmedabad among others.

She was on the Board of Advisors in 2018 to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S. Agency for International Development partnered project to create a public good seeking to clarify the role of human-centered design (HCD) in global health, develop tools and resources for global health practitioners to use HCD in their work, and create a strategic roadmap for demonstrating and amplifying the successful application of HCD in global health. She is also on the Core Advisory Board of the Core Project (2018-2020) at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which aims to gain new insights into women’s sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs in India, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, and co-design innovative solutions that respond to these needs. She has been invited to the Governing Council of the Mo School Project, Government of Odisha.

She has authored several published papers in academic and popular journals, magazines, chapters in books, books and school textbooks. She has been editorial consultant to Collins Cobuild Dictionaries, UK and to the Gujarat State Textbook Board, Gandhinagar.

shilpadas[at]nid [dot]edu


  • Head, Ph.D - Research Programme
  • Faculty, Inter Disciplinary Design Studies (IDDS)
  • Lead, Science and Liberal Arts (Ahmedabad Campus)
  • Activity Chairperson, International Programmes (IP)