DAAP Directory: School of Architecture and Interior Design

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Aarati K. Kanekar

Title: Associate Professor
Office: 7211 Daa Addition
Tel: 513-556-0437
Email: aarati.kanekar@uc.edu

Aarati Kanekar completed her professional degree in architecture from CEPT, Ahmedabad and went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge for her graduate education in architecture studies. Her doctoral dissertation at Georgia Institute of Technology focused on construction and transformation of meaning from literature to architecture entitled “The Geometry of Love and the Topography of Fear: On translation and metamorphosis from poem to building” which examined The Divine Comedy through various art forms.

Her research focuses on design formulation, representation & spatial construction of meaning, and morphological studies in inter-media translations. These explorations are reflected in her publications on topics ranging from issues of representation and drawings of Lebbeus Woods, Terragni's Danteum and translations of the Divine Comedy across media, spatiality in Calvino's novels, and game design. Prof. Kanekar has published books, articles, essays, and encyclopedia entries. Her publications extend from architecture journals such as Perspecta and The Journal of Architecture to Literature and Philosophy journals such as TLE and Philosophica. Her book on translation and representation in architecture titled “Architecture's Pre-texts: Spaces of Translation” was published by Routledge in January 2015 and is currently on a Fulbright Fellowship working on spatiality in traditional Indian representations.

Prior to embarking on an academic career, Prof. Kanekar has worked at the office of B.V. Doshi in India on large institutional projects (IIM, Bangalore and MPEB, Indore), and later at the National Institute of Design (NID) on conservation and tourism development projects in South India. She has also worked on post-war reconstruction and conservation projects in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Prof. Kanekar has been involved in teaching architecture theory and graduate design studios at the University of Cincinnati since 2000 and has chaired over 100 M.Arch thesis projects. She has coordinated M.Arch. thesis year and taught in the Ph.D., M.S.Arch., and M.Arch. programs. She has served as the director and coordinator of the M.S.Arch. program at UC. She is a recipient of the Doctoral Achievement Award, the ARCC/King Award for Architectural Research, the Aga Khan/MIT Fellowship. She was the International Special Faculty Advisor for India to the Provost and is part of the India Strategy Group for UC International.


  • Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, U.S.A., 2000 (Architecture Theory).
  • S.M. Arch. S, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A., 1992 (Architecture Studies).
  • Dipl. Architecture, Center for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, India, 1989 (Architecture (Professional degree)).

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Translations across Media
  • Morphological Studies
  • Contemporary Architectural Theory
  • Conservation in the International Context
  • Socio-cultural Approaches in Architecture


Peer-reviewed Publications

  • “Between Drawing and Building” in The Journal of Architecture, volume 15, issue 6 December 2010 (RIBA & Routledge) pp.771-794..
  • “From Building to Poem and Back: The Danteum as a Study in the Projection of Meaning Across Symbolic Forms” in The Journal of Architecture, volume 10, issue 2 April 2005 (RIBA & Routledge) pp. 135-159..
  • “Diagram and Metaphor in Design: The Divine Comedy as a Spatial Model,” in Special Issue of the Journal PHILOSOPHICA 2002: Diagrams and the Anthropology of Space, edited by Kenneth J. Knoespel, volume 69 (1) 2002 Vakgroep Wijsbegeerte en Moraalwetenschap (Ghent University, Belgium) pp. 37-58..
  • “Metaphor in Morphic Language.” Proceedings of the 3rd International Space Syntax Symposium, Atlanta, 2001. pp. 22.1-22.16 ..
  • “Shaping of Settlements: Temporal Events and Spatial Form in South Indian Temple Cities.” Proceedings of the ACSA International Conference 2000, Hong Kong. pp. 293-299 ..
  • “Visualizing the Invisible: A Study of Narrative and Compositional Structure in Calvino’s Invisible Cities” in Contesting Absences: Exploring Unexamined Influences, Proceedings of ACSA ‘99 West Regional Meeting, Portland, Oregon. pp. 273-279 ..
  • “Text and Discourse in 19th and 20th century Indian Architectural Studies” with Sonit Bafna in Constructing New Worlds, Proceedings of the ACSA ‘98 International Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, pp.345-348 ..
  • “Seduction of Destruction” in the 2006 IASTE Working Paper Series Volume 191
Politics and the Production of Space, Center of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley, pp. 1063-1078..

Invited Publications

  • “Detours in Autonomy” in Perspecta 46: Error (MIT Press, August 2013) pp. 262-283 ..
  • “La Construction Spatiale Du Sens En Architecture: Un Projet Transdisciplinaire” in TLE (Théorie Littérature Enseignement), Paris, 2002. pp. 139-156 ..

Published Books

  • Architecture’s Pre-texts: Spaces of Translation (Routledge, January 2015)..

Book Chapters

  • Aarati Kanekar (2016). (In Progress). Fictional Sites of Architecture/Architectural Sites of Fiction. In Sophia Psarra & Sandra Loschke (Eds.), Production Sites: Resituating the Culture of Architectural Knowledge.

Encyclopedia Articles

  • Essays on “High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia”; “Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad”; “Vidhan Bhavan (State Assembly), Bhopal”; “Enterpreneurship Development Institute, Ahmadabad”; National Assembly Building, Sher-e-Banglanagar, Dhaka in Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Architecture, Three-volume Set edited by R. Stephen Sennot, (New York: Routledge Publishers, December 2003)..

Presentations & Lectures

Invited Presentations

  • Invited plenary speaker for International Conference on The Games of Architecture: Spatial Construction of Meaning in Architectural Design, School of Architecture, University of Thessaly, Greece, 2004.
  • “Diagrams/Games/Design languages” invited presentation at the symposium on New Transatlantic Passages between French and American Theory at the Centre de Recherche sur la Littérature et la Cognition (CRLC), Université Paris Saint-Denis, 2002.

Honors & Awards

  • Pogue Wheeler Traveling Fellowship, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, U.S.A. [$2000], 2014..
  • Faculty Development Council, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, U.S.A. [$3775], 2012..
  • University Research Council Fellowship, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, U.S.A. [$8000], 2009..
  • Pogue Wheeler Traveling Fellowship, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, U.S.A. [$2000], 2006..
  • University Research Council Fellowship, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, U.S.A. [$14500], 2006..
  • Pogue Wheeler Traveling Fellowship, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, U.S.A. [$2000], 2001..

Experience & Service

Work Experience

  • 1986 Architecture Intern, Stein, Doshi and Bhalla Associates, Ahmedabad, India,.
  • 1987 Architecture Intern, Hans.P. + Ruedi Merkli Architects, Zurich, Switzerland ,.
  • 1989 to 1990, Project Architect, National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, India ,.
  • 1991 Conservation Architect, Prostar Stari Grad Mostar, Mostar, Bosnia,.
  • 1990 to 1992, Research & Teaching Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts,.
  • 1994 to 1995, Research & Teaching Assistant, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia,.
  • 1995 to 2000, Curator & Archivist, Archival Center at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia,.
  • 1999 to 2000, Instructor, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia,.
  • 2000 to 2006, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Interior Design, University of Cincinnati,.
  • 2006 to Present, Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Interior Design, University of Cincinnati,.

Student Advising

  • Mae Al-Ansari (Doctoral), Chair. Status: Completed (10-2016)
  • Kory Beighle (Doctoral), Chair. Status: In Progress
  • Venus Akef Suleiman (Doctoral), Chair. Status: In Progress
  • Rasha Al Tameemi (Doctoral). Status: In Progress
  • Samah Abrahem (Doctoral), Chair. Status: In Progress
  • Namtip Yamali (Doctoral), Chair. Status: In Progress

Courses Taught

  • M.Arch. Thesis

  • Research Methods M.S.Arch./Ph.D.

  • Research Methods M.Arch.

  • Cultural Approaches to Architecture

  • Visionary Projects and Theoretical Explorations

  • Representation and Translations Across Media

  • Contemporary Theories in Architecture

  • Critiques of Modernity - History Post 1966

  • M.Arch. and M.S. Arch. Colloquia