Dennis Pieprz: Jury Chair
Dennis plays a leading role in the planning and urban design practice of Sasaki. His 30 years of both national and international experience encompass diverse project types including urban districts, new communities, campus environments, waterfronts, and urban regeneration.
Through his design practice, Dennis focuses on strategic thinking and creating value for clients. He approaches his urban design work collaboratively, integrating landscape, planning, and architecture with a critical understanding of the forces that shape contemporary cities.
At the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Dennis has taught a studio focused on the Boston Innovation District and in 2018, he taught in the Elements of Urban Design Studio. Dennis is one of 12 leading urban design practitioners interviewed for the book, ‘Designing Change’ by Eric Firley, published by the Dutch publishing group NAI in 2019.
Dennis leads remarkable teams that have been honored with more than 75 design awards, including national recognition from the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Society for College and University Planning. Dennis has been inducted as an honorary member of ASLA—a title bestowed upon only a handful of professionals nationwide. Dennis also served as the youngest president of Sasaki from 2004 until 2011.
Educated at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Master of Architecture in Urban Design, with Distinction, Thesis Prize) and the University of Toronto School of Architecture (Bachelor of Architecture, with Honors, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal), Dennis speaks regularly at conferences and academic institutions and has participated on several international design competition juries.
Shimul Javeri Kadri
Shimul’s design practice has strong philosophical underpinnings, Egalitarian democratic societies, a deep respect for nature and living with it, and a fundamental belief in people and their connectedness drives her world view. This translates to buildings that sit comfortably and naturally in their environments – shorn of a certain egotistic individualistic character – buildings that embrace natural materials, the sun and the wind, as opposed to mechanized boxes that alienate people and nature.
Her interest in an architecture that is meaningful for the India of today, drawing from historical wisdom, but relevant and exciting for the vibrant Indian market, has led to a practice that has commissions as varied as hotels for religious tourism, to a museum for Jainism, to an automobile design studio for Mahindra’s.
Shimul is on the committee for Gender inclusive development for the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (the first of its kind in India) and gives inputs and suggestions that will help women negotiate and work in the city of Mumbai.
Shimul studied architecture in Mumbai at the Academy of Architecture, and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. She is invited as a speaker to numerous architectural institutions while she also serves as a Trustee for Save the Children India where she has been actively steering education and women’s projects. She is also on the Board of Directors of Akshara, a Women’s resource Centre.
Gurjit Singh Matharoo
Gurjit Singh Matharoo has been a significant figure in contemporary Indian architecture practice. His firm, Matharoo Associates (founded in 1992) has received numerous international awards including Chicago Athenaeum Architecture Awards in 2011, multiple awards from the Architectural Review and a nomination for the Aga Khan Award in 2009. He has been chosen as one of seven trend breaking architects by the ETH Zurich, Switzerland in 2011 and is widely published. In 2012 he was conferred the title of International Fellow of Royal Institute of British Architects (IntFRIBA). He is only the third Indian architect to be inducted in this fellowship and one of the youngest recipients of this lifetime honour.
Gurjit is well known for his inspiring materialization and search of cutting edge architectural solutions with acute attention to functionality and detail. He is deeply passionate about the mechanics and design of automobiles.
He has been teaching as visiting faculty since 1991 both at CEPT University and at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. Between 2016 and 2019, he was appointed as Professor and Area Chair for Architectural Design in the Faculty of Architecture at CEPT.
Gurjit Singh Matharoo obtained his Architecture Degree from CEPT University. He has been a Juror on several important awards and competitions over the past two decades, including the Charles Correa Gold Medal.
Nadine Gerdts explores the cultural and environmental dynamics of urban landscapes through her research, design and academic practices. A senior critic and lecturer at RISD since 1995, she addresses contemporary issues in landscape and urbanism through interdisciplinary studios and seminars that link social, cultural and environmental issues to design. She has worked extensively with youth in urban public schools and with neighborhood organizations on projects that strengthen the livability of cities.
Gerdts has directed such interdisciplinary projects as the Public Health + Public Space Initiative focused on the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence and InsideOut Studio developing site-specific design projects with teens and youth in Boston and Providence public schools. Her current research projects include Lines of Equity – Post-Industrial Urban Corridors, a study of bicycle use and neighborhood transformation, and Beyond Borders: Urban Futures, a collaboration at the intersection of design, planning, climate science and technology with partners at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences at Alnarp, supported with a Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education, STINT Initiation Grant. Locally, she is a member of the Boston Society of Landscape Architects K-12 Outreach Committee working to connect youth with environmental issues and serves annually as a reviewer for the Boston Arts Academy Visual Arts Department senior portfolio reviews.
Gerdts’ early work was instrumental in securing permanent open space legislation protecting urban gardens in Boston’s South End and Roxbury neighborhoods, where she was director of community design with Boston Urban Gardeners. As a Fulbright researcher in the Nordic countries, she developed a deep interest in public landscapes and neighborhood fabric. She advocates for citizen-based projects promoting innovation in the civic realm and as the appointed chair of her town’s citizen tree board has helped with the oversight of the community’s urban forest of more than 50,000 trees.
Architect and Urban Designer Bijoy is the co-founding partner with Sunitha Kondur at Hundredhands, a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Bangalore, established in 2003. Having worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from café interiors to apartment buildings and institutions, the studio’s design approach is rooted in focusing on the urban context through the medium of scale, character, spatial and visual impact, and the remaking of the public domain.
Hundredhands has won multiple awards which include an official selection for the Project South Exhibition and the Leone di Pietra at the Venice Biennale, 2006, and the Cityscape/Architectural Review Award in 2005. Bijoy was a panelist at the annual all-India undergraduate thesis review, the Kurula Varkey Design Forum, at CEPT, Ahmedabad, in 2006 and 2014, he currently serves as the Post-Graduate Design Chair at the BMS College of Architecture, Bangalore.
Bijoy has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from BMS College, Bangalore University (1994), a Master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, in Architecture & Urbanism (1998) and attended the Glenn Murcutt Master Class (2012).