Road Less Traveled Lecture Series

Architecture is a vast and multi-layered discipline, that can open up paths to various career options. There is no single “correct” way of being an architect, no straight path or formula to follow.

The Road Less Traveled virtual lecture series brings together, on a single platform, nine professionals from different parts of the world who have been educated as architects and took a detour to walk the untrodden road, carving out unconventional career paths in related fields. Each of them is an architect+

9 architects. 9 paths. 8 cities. 5 countries. 1 platform. 1 cause.

The Road Less Traveled virtual lecture series was attended live by participants from all over the world, and has been successful in raising ₹1,00,000 in 2 weeks of quarantine!

The recorded lectures are now available online, and the fees will continue to support the cause. Together, we can #StarveTheHungerVirus while staying home and staying safe.

The funds collected so far have been channelized towards the following organizations:

+Amoomat Society in Hyderabad, India, a women’s rights organization currently providing home-cooked meals to displaced migrant workers all over the city of Hyderabad during the lockdown

+United for a Fair and Just Society (UFJS) in Hyderabad, an organization supplying rations to the elderly, daily-wage workers who are now without an income, and their families during the lockdown

+Medicos del Mundo in Madrid, an international NGO of medical workers treating COVID-19 patients all over the world




Dr Vikranth Singh
architect + urban designer + academic
Auckland, New Zealand

Vikrant Singh is an architect and Urban designer/Academic, presently based in Auckland, New Zealand. He works with a local architectural firm and has been actively involved in the academics in India as well as in New Zealand.

Vikrant holds a PhD in architecture from University of Auckland, New Zealand, M. Arch (Urban Design) from Mackintosh School of Architecture, University of Glasgow, UK and B. Arch from BBDNITM, Lucknow, India. After returning from the UK, started his architectural firm and simultaneously headed one of the regional architecture school. His sensitivity towards social issues is well evident not only through his writings but also in his ground attempts to bring that change.  In one such effort, he worked in collaboration with the team from MIT, USA on a waste management system in India. He is also awarded by Dr Sanjeev Baliyan, Union State Minister for his vision and contribution in architectural teaching. He is widely traveled and has been a speaker at various events.

Meriu Diaz
architect + designer
Madrid, Spain

Meriu has a Master in Architecture and Urbanism from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM, 2004), Postgraduate in Art and Architecture Criticism from the European University of Madrid (UEM, 2004), MArch II AADRL (Design Research Laboratory) from the Architectural Association of London (AA, 2011) and recently graduated with Honors Master in Product Design from the Isituto Europeo de Design (IED Madrid, 2016).

Her personal and professional backgrounds have driven her to work, study and travel across different countries and continents developing her professional career in international awarded firms in The Netherlands, Spain, Kuwait, China and Malta. Meriu is in the process of starting her own design firm.

As architect and designer who is passionate about design and research, a fan of technology’s potential, an innovation enthusiast and a curious spirit, Meriu’s interests nowadays lie in the limit between the architectural practice and product design.

Meriu has collaborated as invited speaker and jury in several Universities as Rey Juan Carlos I University, Madrid (Master in Cultural Projects Management and Leadership), IAAC Barcelona (Master in Advanced Architecture) and the School of Architecture of the Iberoamerican University, Mexico DF (Final thesis Jury).

Miguel Miranda-Montes
architect + design entrepreneur
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Miguel is the Design Director and Founder of Muuaaa Design Studio. Overseeing different design projects, his background in architecture has allowed him to fluctuate from 2-dimensional to 3-dimensional projects from the creation of iconic identities to the development of product and retail design.

He earned an MArch at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. His obsession over the future of identities can be traced back to all his years’ work, which has molded him into the brand specialist he is today. Recently, Miguel was selected amongst one of the “Most Exciting and Ambitious Designers of the World” by the London Design Biennale.

Passing on his passion for design, Miguel has offered lectures and been a professor in Universities such as Elisava, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, the School of Architecture of the Pontifical Catholic University in Puerto Rico and the School of Architecture of the University of Puerto Rico. He was also the director of the San Juan Visiting School a summer workshop in Puerto Rico titled “Play with your Food,” which highlighted the food as a material and how we can design with it or around it as part of the AA Visiting School program.

Belonging to the rare breed of design entrepreneurs, his interest in the cannibalism of the Tropical, a relationship between soft and hard, has provided real distinctiveness for his work.

Shriti Das
architect + writer + editor
Mumbai, India

Shriti formerly built buildings but now writes about building buildings. Shriti is an architect who also moonlights as a Kathak dancer and teacher on weekends. Post completing her BArch from Mumbai University, she pursued straitjacketed jobs in architectural firms for 3 years before she embarked upon writing and alternative forms of exploring design and art.

Shriti began her formal writing gig with The People Place Project and is currently associated with them as the Sub-Editor wherein she conducts writing and mapping workshops under the organization apart from various editorial and writing works. She consults with Fish Do It Consultants, as a contributing writer and editor. She also works with Indian Architect & Builder as the Sub-Editor. Her work has been published in the books: People Called Shillong and It’s Play Time. Her past stints include conceptualizing and executing 3 buildings on the outskirts of Mumbai and consulting with advertising agencies.

Amir Equbal
architect + entrepreneur + graphic designer
New Delhi, India

Amir is an architect by profession and founded Minimal Muslim Design in 2017 to revive the minimalist and universal design principles inspired by Islamic teachings.

MMD is a creative agency that works in domains of creative branding and spatial design. The business specializes in spatial design, strategic brand identity, architecture, graphic design, industrial design and interior design.

Through the ages the Islamic principles and designs have been bound in a specific set of concepts delivered through monuments and artwork in the Islamic world. This interactive session aims to start a dialog across creative and non-creative domains to discuss how these Islamic principles can be demonstrated in a universal way through creative process and method. The aim is to address various scopes of fusing Islamic principles with cultural dimensions in the present world to produce works/design solutions in a 3rd dimension of contemporary Islamic Design for all.

Minimal Muslim Design is a creative movement that aims to demonstrate the universality in Islam-inspired Design through creative design thinking.

Sneha Kesiraju
architect + planner
Hyderabad, India

Sneha is an architect and environmental planner. She has a BArch from Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture & Fine Arts University, Hyderabad, and a Master’s in Environmental Planning from CEPT University, Ahmedabad. She is District Town & Planning Officer, Khammam where she is the competent authority to grant building and layout permissions. Sneha is also Assistant Director in Directorate of Town & Country Planning, Government of Telangana.

Her journey from studying Architecture to now working as a government servant has been very interesting. After qualifying BArch, Sneha became more aware of a macro-level understanding of architecture and its surroundings which helped in studying and taking up planning, her core area of specialization being Environmental Planning. Sneha has taken many different roles and at present has a work experience of 10 yrs in this field. She has worked on varied projects like City Developments plans, City Sanitation Plans, Slum free city plan of action and now working on Master plans and Indicative Landuse Plans.

Asna Moazzam Khan
architect + entrepreneur + real estate professional
Dubai, UAE

Asna is an architect by profession and Managing Director of Real Returns, an award-winning real estate firm in Dubai. Asna has a BArch from Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture & Fine Arts University, Hyderabad, and has worked in Hyderabad, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. She has successfully led a prominent design project towards an Estidama Green Building rating for the city of Abu Dhabi and has been a member of the Emirates Green Building Council and also PBRS certified by the Urban Planning Council of Abu Dhabi. Her main interests include sustainability, energy and environment design and working on reviving vernacular architecture in a contemporary context.

Asna founded ard أرض, a sustainable design initiative that incorporates technology with vernacular building techniques through design research and aims to revive UAE’s vernacular building crafts in a contemporary context. ard أرض aims to revisit the existing age-old techniques of vernacular architecture; more particularly Arish (palm frond architecture) and take it forward in a modern context so that it blends seamlessly with the current fabric of the cities in UAE.

Through her various talks, Asna has ensured an ongoing effort to raise awareness concerning the urgent need of taking Arish out from the museum walls and into the heart of the cities. She also had the opportunity to design and fabricate WeaveX, an installation for Dubai Design Week 2018.

Asna currently heads DesignAware Dubai as an Associate. DesignAware is an award-winning experimental interdisciplinary architecture and design studio with an aim to create awareness through livable, wearable, usable, accessible design. Their work ranges from product, furniture and lighting design to interior design, architecture and urbanism.

Manish Paul Simon
architect + podcaster
Bangalore, India

Manish is a Bangalorean who moved to Vijaywada to complete his BArch from School of Planning & Architecture, VIjayawada. He has worked for various firms right from a solo architect, to a reputed firm, to finally a large MNC. He presently works as a freelancer which gives him the flexibility to do other things like podcasting and also creating courses.

Manish aims to give back to the field and found podcasts to be the best medium. As host of the popular ArchGyan podcast, he has had the opportunity to interview some of the best minds in the industry from India and across the world and has learned a lot in the process.

Sri Rekha Mavulati
architect + green buildings faculty + assessor
Hyderabad, India

Sri Rekha holds a BArch from Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture & Fine Arts University, Hyderabad. During academics she had experience of part-time job as Assistant Architect in various organizations and also had an experience of working in a conservation project of British Residency in Hyderabad. She started her career in 2007 in an architectural MNC before moving into the field of green buildings.

Presently, Rekha is involved with the Green Building activities of CII- Godrej Green Building Council. She is incharge of IGBC Green Schools, Healthcare and Landscape Rating System Certification activities, and leads the team with Engineers. Rekha is involved in development of various green building rating systems and certification. Also, she is handling Green Education activities of IGBC.

Rekha is an IGBC Accredited Professional, trained green buildings Faculty and Assessor. She has been associated with the CII-IGBC since 2008.


Anytime you want!

Each live talk and presentation, followed by an interactive session, has been recorded and is available for viewing online.

Shriti Das | Mumbai, India | “Project Prose”
Manish Paul Simon | Bangalore, India | “Learn, Teach, Grow”
Asna Moazzam Khan | Dubai, UAE | “Weaving a Narrative from Design to Real Estate”
Miguel Miranda-Montes | San Juan, Puerto Rico | “From 2D to 3D: From Designer to Entrepreneur”
Vikrant Singh | Auckland, New Zealand | “The Impossible in Architecture”
Amir Equbal | New Delhi, India | “Design, Culture + Faith”
Sneha Kesiraju | Hyderabad, India | “Interdisciplinary Role of an Architect in Urban Development”
Meriu Diaz | Madrid, Spain | “Skills and Scales”
Sri Rekha Mavulati | Hyderabad, India | “A Journey Towards Sustainable Development”


Completely online! This is part of our remote learning initiative. You can view the recorded lecture series from home or wherever you are. After you have registered, you will receive the link to view each selected lecture and any related links/downloadable reference material provided by the speaker.

How much?

Click the button for fee details. Your purchase will help support various volunteer organizations providing COVID-19 relief in India.


India is going through an unprecedented crisis of epic proportions. With the unchecked spread of the deadly pandemic gripping almost every family, volunteer organizations are working towards sourcing oxygen, medicines, medical supplies and other essentials for COVID-19 patients and their families.

Majority of the fees collected via the Road Less Traveled lecture series will be donated towards helping volunteers and to support healthcare professionals that are working towards COVID-19 relief efforts.


Construction workers and laborers are the backbone of the construction industry, without whom it would be impossible to build.  Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many migrant workers, day laborers and construction workers have been adversely affected and have no work, no source of income, no food, no access to toilets or homes. In order to provide relief to these workers and their families, many local initiatives and volunteers are working together to prepare meals and supply rations.

Though the coronavirus is deadly and fatal virus, even in times of normalcy, tens of thousands of people lose their lives due to hunger, a deadlier virus. We at DesignAware have started a crowdfunding campaign to collect funds from interested donors and channel them to volunteers working to help the lesser privileged, to #StarveTheHungerVirus.

Majority of the fees collected via the Road Less Traveled lecture series will be donated towards helping volunteers in this effort.

How much?

Click the relevant button for fee details.

Good to know:

_By purchase of this ticket you are entitled to access all selected lectures in the Road Less Traveled lecture series online.
_One ticket is only good for one individual login.
_Part of the proceeds of your ticket will go towards helping charitable organizations or volunteers working towards relief efforts during the COVID-19 outbreak in various countries.
_This is not a live event, it is pre-recorded.
_DesignAware shall not be held responsible for connectivity issues or technical difficulties faced by attendees on their end, if instructions are not followed properly.
_Fee once paid will be non-refundable under any circumstances.
_There is no refund or partial refund in case you face connectivity or technical issues from your end.
_If you require more information before registering and paying the fee, email us at with “Road Less Traveled” in the subject line. If you are a previous participant of the Fractals Workshop or _studio to site_ please email us for details on special discount codes.

Click here to see previous Fractals Workshops by DesignAware.