Faculty Profile

MIKE_KNOWLESProfessor Mike knowles,Director -Creative Innovation Projects(SSD)
Over forty five years of spearheading growth and experiment in the world of Creative Parlance, both in practice and in education, Professor Knowles has learnt to enjoy the fact that there are no boundaries as to where the creative mind can go.

Despite having worked the world over, for Professor Knowles, India is the most Creative of spaces. For him, the people within this space are the most visually alive and intuitive as well as innovative and inherently skilled.

It is undeniable that India is quickly progressing into its Age of Design – fast leaving the archaic Age of Science. We want new, we want discovery, we want change.

And it is for Professor Knowles, the multifaceted world of Design that will fulfill our hearts desires.

With such rapid progress underway, young people, on discovering their Creative intent, are often confused as to how to take their personal dream forward.

As an example, what really is ‘Visual Communication’ and how does it differ from ‘Applied Art’? In this field of rapid discovery, where will ‘Visual Communication’ be in the coming years? With the onset of 3D imaging and 3D printing what are the defines between 2D imaging, pure advertising, linked product marketing and indeed Product Design. Where will we find graduates confident enough to define and distort norms?

Likewise with ‘Interior Architecture’ and ‘Interior Design’, the two disciplines are both deeply in tune with each other and yet work apart – As parallels and tangents, shared aesthetics and diverse aesthetics.

Confused? You should be for that is the world of Creative Thinking, or as we like to say Design Thinking.

This is exactly the reason Professor Knowles has established the Ansal University Creative Hub. A one stop shop for young people to get the best counseling needed for their soon to be exciting futures.

As has often been the case, this venture, growing from the energy at Sushant School of Design, is the first of it’s kind in India. The exclusivity may not last long for great ideas are always imitated. However, beyond merely being the first, with the guidance of Professor Knowles we indeed intend to be the best.

India’s future growth pattern will be design centric. Indeed, each point on the governments vision agenda has a design led solution.

Professor Knowles is keen to meet all those who are searching to find their path on this most inspiring and fulfilling of futures.

Professor Knowles started his professional career training to teach 3D design at Southfields College, London. After entering into industry he worked with many leading London designers before setting up his first studio, Mike Knowles and Associates in London in the mid eighties. A ‘ Ruskinite ‘ he is a passionate believer in the societal value of design and craft skills.

Professor Knowles moved to India to develop job creation and export projects and helped establish the In Group. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and up until recently headed the India Fellowship. In 2008 he established a Skills Academy for the University of the Arts London in New Delhi and was conferred a Visiting Professor UAL in 2009. In 2010 he was given the responsibility of developing the Sushant School of Design where he was Dean for 5 years, growing the school from a handful of students to one of India’s leading Design Schools. He now heads the Creative Hub, SSD at Ansal University.

Ranjan De 2012Prof. Ranjan De

Prof. De is an alumnus from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and he specialized in the Visual Communications stream, with the 1980 batch. He recently completed his PG Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE – 2012) from Nottingham-Trent University, UK.

He has been professionally engaged with a number of prominent Advertising agencies and Design houses such as Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, RK Swamy BBDO, Tulika Publishers and rubecon communications. He has been associated with NGOs and Museums such as The Banyan; Chennai, Dakshinachitra – The Living Museum.

He endeavors to find a stimulating balance between professional practice and the academic field in the world of graphic and educational design, therefore, simultaneously involved in a variety of professional and academic projects that push boundaries..
Prior to joining Ansal University, he was working as an Associate Professor at Pearl Academy as the Course Leader at the Pearl Academy Chennai campus for Foundation Design and Visual Communication. He has been associated with many academic activities in the capacity of Faculty & Mentor at several Institutes of Design / Architecture in Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, Pallakad and Delhi NCR region for over fifteen years as well as developing hands on learning pedagogy for middle schools across India for both Govt. and Private schools. His areas of academic interest & explorations focus on Indo – Anglian Communications, Activity Based Learning Pedagogical development, Binaglu Corrugated Furniture systems and Shelters, Matchstick Structures as an Analytical tool and Multi-mode Puppetry as a Transformative Teacher Training tool.

He has been documenting Popular Arts like hand painted Cinema hoardings and Political wall Grafitti and Airbrushed Bus Graphics of Tamilnadu, and has presented papers on the same at seminars such at .Urban Visualities at Dakshinachitra in Jan 2011 and recently presented a paper on Food packaging Colour coding at the Conference on Universal Design and Development at Coimbatore in March 2015

SIMRAN_SETHISimrun Sethi,Associate Professor

Creative Strategic Designer experienced in design, innovation, product strategy and revitalizing businesses. With a successful track record in creative projects for global brands with a cross industry experience in electronics, design management, luxury and consumer goods, trend forecasting, CMF, retail, exhibition and interior design, and higher education.

SimrunSethi did her Masters in Business Design (Design Management) fromDomus Academy, Milan, Italy, 2006-2007. Previous to which, she did her Diploma in Business Management from NM College of Management, Mumbai, India,1999 -2000

PV Polytechnic, SNDT University, Mumbai, India- Diploma in Interior Design 1985-1988

MANIKA_WALIAManika Walia,Associate Professor

ManikaWalia an Apparel Designer, Researcher and Educator with over 16 years experience. A post-graduate in clothing, she has worked with eminent universities like IIS University Jaipur, NIFT and Pearl Academy. She also has an experience of working with various boutiques / retail stores like Soma, Anokhi and Shanghai Tang. She believes in the process of constructive alignment where students are central. Here at SSD, she is handling core courses like Fashion Design, Material Exploration, Color Theory and Color Psychology.

VIJAYA_SETHIVijaya Sethi,Assistant Professor

Vijaya Sethi is an apparel designer with 9 years experience in the garment industry as well as teaching. An NID alumni she believes in making every design not only functional but also reflective in nature. She has been associated with a number of children’s wear brands of India to bring about a difference in clothing for children. In the last few years she has devoted her time in academics sharing her knowledge with design students of various Institutes and has also been involved in counseling sessions for schools in Delhi.

Neha Grewal is an artist based in Delhi. She completed her Bachelors of Fine Art from College of Arts, New Delhi and thereafter, a Masters in Fine Art from The Faculty of Fine Arts at JamiaMilliaIslamia. She continues her art practice at her Delhi studio and more recently has extended her interest in the sphere of art education, currently as a part of the team at Sushant School of Design.

Neha has participated in several art events, most recently being a group exhibition of thirty two emerging and established women artists organized by the Sahitya Kala Parishad in Delhi and the exhibition ‘Tales between Borders’ at the Clark House Initiative in Mumbai. In addition to this, Neha has also helped facilitate an Art workshop at The British School, working with students to create socially engaged art such as to both spread awareness and to engage. Some of the other projects Neha has been involved with in the recent past include the Second edition of the United Art Fair under the curatorial section of the curator MeeraMenezes, a three-person exhibition at the prestigious Art Heritage Gallery at Triveni Kala Sangam and a group exhibition at the Art Konsult Gallery centered around the issue of gender specific violence. Reflecting Neha’s dedication in the field of art, she has received accolades such as the Ravi Jain Fellowship Award 2013 by the Dhoomimal Gallery and the Second, First and Second Prize at three consecutive Annual Art Exhibitions of Collage of Art, Delhi.

Esha Maggo is a Graphic Designer. She did her BFA in Applied Art from College Of Art, Delhi ; MFA in Applied Art from Amity University, Noida ; MA in drawing & Painting from Jiwaji University, Gwalior. She has trained at a few renowned Ad Agencies like JWT & McCann World Group and has also worked as a Graphic Designer in The Boxbeat Technologies. She has been working as a Freelancer for over 3 years.

She also has research experience in consumer’s attention towards FMCGs (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), Packaging in Indian urban market, analytical study of product advertisement in creating awareness among Indian society on social Issues and the influence of Colour psychology in recalling a brand

Himani G. Chowdhary  is a Ph.D from Delhi University with more than 10 years of synergistic experience, working in the fashion and textiles industry, academics and research.

Worked in the industry with fashion and apparel brands like Gap, Banana Republic, H&M, Macy’s. Teaching experience includes working with the department of Apparel design and construction (Delhi university) and Kurukshetra University in Fashion and Apparel Design Department as HOD.

Areas of work and interest span from Traditional textile heritage of India, Fashion Marketing and Merchandising, Textile Design, Fiber Science, Fabric Production, Art and craft Appreciation studies, History of Costumes.

Publications and Presentations in International and National Conferences on Textiles, Green environment, sustainability and green chemistry, Eco-friendly textiles, traditional crafts of India

Voluntary work with artisans of J& K on ‘Ari’ work of Kashmir

Worked on various government projects under Ministry of Textiles, Science and Technology.

Presently working in Ansal University, Sushant School of Design.

Surabhi Khanna is a designer, educator. She has masters in Industrial Design, with specialization in toy and game design, from National Institute of Design (NID), India after graduation in architecture. She has worked on projects and workshops related to heritage, innovations, culture-based design. She has been associated with several institutions of design and education as a part time/ visiting faculty.

She was invited as an exchange designer for 6 months in Germany in 2010 and was invited participant for UNESCO, Germany, creativity workshop on Inclusive education and development in 2013. She was co-invitee  in April 2014 for talks-workshops on design & education by Social & Early Education Management, Barranquilla, Colombia (South America). In September 2014, also invited for conducting workshops for teachers at Sabana university, Bogota Colombia. In 2016, also co-invited for talk-workshops by Aalborg university, Denmark. At her design studio in New Delhi, she is involved in design & development of innovative play products as stress busters and corporate gift items. She also works on consultancy projects and innovative design development of education and culture based products. She featured in Pool Design Magazine, February 2015.

She is currently faculty of product design at Sushant School of Design, Ansal University

Another unique strength of Sushant School of Design is the highly diverse panel of visiting faculty. There are people from the industry and leading design professionals and academicians who are teaching at SSD. The insight provided by the visiting faculty is one of the key reasons that Sushant graduates walk out as ‘market ready’ and aesthetically sound.

Sharad Mathur is a consultant in the field of design and management, with 30 years of experience in the same. He has to his acclaim several prestigious projects like organizing India Promotions for stores in Holland and Switzerland, and having worked on costumes for films and theater in Europe, where he studied and worked for more than a decade, and also for Bollywood films here. He has also opened a couple of buying agencies in Delhi, and is also working as a consultant for several Export and Retail organizations on Product & Range Development. He is also actively involved in Training the grassroots artisans on their skill development, product enhancement and development programme, an initiative by the Ministry of Textiles. He is associated with several educational institutes like NIFT, Pearl, Indian Retail School, Amity University, Raffles University (Singapore), IMM, IILM, Sushant School of Design etc where he teaches both Design and Management.

Seema Srivastava is an art historian, cultural theorist, teacher and a designer. She has a great understanding of traditional as well as modern and contemporary art. Qualified with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, a Master’s Degree in History of Art and an M. Phil in Indian Arts, Crafts and Aesthetics, she has a professional experience of more than 25 years, spent in the field of teaching Art at the College of Art, University of Delhi, the National Museum as well as other prime art institutes including the National museum, National Gallery of Modern Art and the India Habitat centre. She has also been associated with some design institutes like Pearl Academy of Fashion and National Institute of Fashion Technology, Institute of Apparel Management, Ansal University where she has taught Art, Fashion and History of art and design. MrsSrivastava has presented a range of academic papers and lectures on diverse aspects of the arts and also published books on art and art education. She also conducts heritage walks, museum visits, craft experiences in and around Delhi.

Shalini Bansal, A 2000 post-graduate Design Alumnus from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, ShaliniBansal has worked across diverse design domains from textiles to fashion, graphics and exhibition. As the Colour and Visual Consultant for Asian paints ColourNext, she has been working to translate and mediate between social / societal information, collected through primary and secondary research and the visual and colour information. She has spearheaded the design of Apparel exhibitions like Textrends 2012, IIGF 2011 and Source Zone 2010 /11, for the AEPC, Ministry of textiles, GOI and developed theme pavilions for these. Shalini has been involved as an Interior Textile and Colour consultant in residential real estate projects for design and development of the interior textiles. She has an experience through the cross section of the textile industry with design in yarn, fabric and home fashions, both in exports as well as retail. Simultaneously, she has also been a Design educator and her forte has been to mentor the marriage of education with industry. She has her own initiative in Education through which she has been extensively working at introducing creative clubs and activities across schools.

Radhika Mann, An interior designer by profession and education, she has been practicing since the last 10 years. She graduated in Interior Design from Apeejay Institute of Design and completed her Masters from Punjab Technical University. She is an associate member of IIID. She is associated with prestigious colleges of India. Her inputs are very often read in newspapers also. Arts n Drafts is owned by her and is into interiors, exteriors and architectural consultancies.

Monika KhannaGulati is a design consultant, entrepreneur and educator with a successful career spanning over 20 years. She is the founder and principal of SkyBlue Design, based out of Gurgaon.  SkyBlue Design is an integrated corporate communication studio, supporting clients in strategy formulation to conceptual design, through to actual implementation. This includes corporate identity as well as graphic design for publications such as magazines, newsletters, brochures, training manuals, events and presentations. SkyBlue Design has worked with well-known international clients, such as The British Council, DFID, The World Bank, ITC, DRDO, Rapid Metro, UNFPA, UNICEF, Save the Children UK &Duraline-Emerson and Baxter. SkyBlue Design has partnered with several art galleries such as Bodhi Art, Vadhera Art Gallery, GallerieNvya and continues to interact closely with leading artists and art-commentators whilst creating their publications. In 2009, Monika redefined the identity for the National Gallery of Modern Art on the occasion of the inauguration of its New Wing. Several new publications as well as a comprehensive way-finding and signage system for the New Wing and the Museum were developed to commemorate the event.

Naresh Bhatti is formally trained commercial photographer. Being a commerce Graduate from Ramjas College,Delhi university and CA(Inter),He was serving in Finance sector till 2004 and also doing photography as an amateur. In 2004 he started as full time freelance commercial photographer.

He is specialized in fashion and beauty photography. Loves travel photography and driving in the hills. He has done editorial fashion shoots for various fashion and Life style magazines. He loves to teach and share his knowledge and experience gained in real world scenario. His clients are Facebook UK, Instagram UK, Max Health Care,Fashion designers Rinku Sobti, Shashank & Prajwal, Delhi Daredevil and Official Photographer in IIFA 2015 Malaysia , Lakme Fashion Week 2015.”



Vibha Narula Gupta is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (1987) with a Diploma in Industrial Design (Textiles). She also has a Diploma in Commercial Art from the New Delhi Polytechnic for Women. She has experience in diverse fields of design. Her work on textiles includes printed and woven fabrics, furnishings for the domestic and export market, craft documentations, research and development projects. Additionally, she has been a design consultant on interiors and exhibitions. Notable amongst these is the Festival of India, USSR, Exhibition on Nehru at Victoria and Albert Museum and the French Festival in India. She has been a visiting faculty at IILM, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and Apeejay Institute of Design. She was also closely involved in development of programme structures and curriculum for textiles and apparels at IILM. As an educator she aims to provide a sound design education to enable students to think creatively and independently, and to equip them to apply themselves to any design problem.

Nandini Varma is a Visiting Faculty with Sushant School of Design (SSD) and a freelance graphic designer based in Delhi. She completed her Bachelor in Applied Art from Delhi college of Art and thereafter graduated with a Masters degree in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins, London, UK. She joined Rabia Gupta Designs, Mumbai, where she specialised in Print Design and created many notable brand identities for the Airline, Music, Fashion and the Corporate Industry.

Her love of books and reading further lead her to design numerous book covers for HarperCollins and Penguin, India. She has a keen interest in typography, ceramics, video graphics and 3D printing and is a fitness and yoga enthusiast.

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