Prajna Desai

C-MAP Fellow for Asia | Department of Architecture and Design
The Museum of Modern Art (2018-2019)

Prajna Vijay Desai writes about visual politics, print culture, and built form at the intersection of cultural history and histories of science. Fields of research include Political epistemes of solidarity in 20th century Asia; authority and anxiety in museums; magazines and censorship in wartime Japan; architectural pedagogy in South Asia; environmental histories of the Cold War; and the anti-catastrophic nuclear imaginary. Prajna received her academic training in India and the United States. She took her Masters (English Literature) at the University of Mumbai and her PhD (History of Art and Architecture) at Yale University. She was previously Visiting Professor at Stern College for Women (New York), College of Staten Island, (CUNY, New York), and University of Southern California (Los Angeles). Her writing has appeared in a number of publications including Artforum, Art in America, Frieze, Aperture,, Art India, Guernica, Caravan, and Open Democracy. She has led self-initiated curatorial projects across various media at Project 88, Mumbai (2013, 2016, 2017); Delfina Foundation London (2014) Dharavi Biennale, Mumbai (2014-15), and Focus Photography Festival (2017). As Asia Research Fellow in the global research initiative at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Prajna’s work spans research, editorial, writing, publication, as well as curatorial collaboration in the Department of Architecture and Design. She pursues an independent curatorial practice in India and the United States.


Conversation: Sameep Padora with Prajna Desai

The recent documentary “Reading Architecture” (2017) explores the contemporary history of design in India across five practices in Mumbai. Sameep Padora, one of five featured architects, is the founder of Sameep Padora & Associates (sP+a), a Mumbai (India) based architecture studio. In 2016, he initiated sPare, a research arm of the studio.