Ms. Neera Adarkar obtained her DIIT in Industrial Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1974. Prior to this, she had done her graduation in Architecture from Sir J.J. College of Architecture, Mumbai University.
The wide ranging projects designed and planned by her firm M/s. Adarkar Associates (from mass housing, institutional buildings to heritage conservation, within and outside Mumbai) are in many ways defined by her sensibilities which transcend the limited notions of architecture, as being iconic buildings or image-driven.
The significant urban projects recently completed include:
(1) Preparing an integrated sustainable plan for revitalisation of Sevagram and Wardha in view of the 75th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival, (2) Comprehensive study of open spaces in the city of Mumbai, including preparation of action plan for improving their status, and (3) Suggesting urban development guidelines for the historic sub-precincts of Chembur characterized by their cultural heritage. Ms. Adarkar’s concern on social, urban and gender issues has resulted in her association with various civil society organizations in Mumbai. She is closely linked with the Textile Workers’ Union in the city of Mumbai. Her involvement in the urban struggles as an activist led her to participate in the process of formation of Mumbai Peoples’ Action Committee, a coalition of citizens’ groups active on various urban issues. She is a founder member of Majlis, an organization engaged in cultural, urban and legal projects. She is also one of the founder members of Women Architects Forum, which in the early nineties initiated women architects to revisit their own profession and the built environment at large with a gender perspective. Currently she is a member of the Government-appointed Committee of Experts on Dharavi Redevelopment Project.
Her book One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices, Oral History of Mill Workers of Girangaon (co-authored with Meena Menon and published by Seagull, Calcutta) was shortlisted for the Hutch Crossword Book Award in 2005. Its Marathi translation has won two awards from the Government of Maharashtra and from Maharashtra Foundation (U.S.A). The second book Chawls of Mumbai, Galleries of Life (ed. volume, published by ImprintOne, 2012 ), a collection of multidisciplinary essays, is a plea to understand space, culture and social practices.
Ms. Adarkar has been a visiting faculty member in the prominent schools of architecture in Mumbai over last 25 years. She has many published articles to her credit and has presented papers and delivered talks on issues related to urbanism, heritage conservation and gender in India and outside India - in the Universities at New York, Chicago, Berkeley, Cornell, Leuven etc.