Kaiwan Mehta is a theorist and critic in the fields of visual culture, architecture, and city studies. Mehta has studied Architecture (B. Arch), Literature (MA), Indian Aesthetics (PGDip) and Cultural Studies (PhD). In 2017 he completed his doctoral studies at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bengaluru, under the aegis of Manipal University. Since March 2012 he has been the Managing Editor of Domus India (Spenta Multimedia). From July 2017 to March 2022 he was Professor and Programme Chair of the Doctoral Programme at the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT, Ahmedabad, where he contributed to the CEPT University Press and Research, and was also a founding member on the CEPT Essay Prize steering committee. He was the Charles Correa Chair professor at the Goa College of Architecture under the aegis of the Department of Art and Culture, Government of Goa for the academic year 2017-2018. He authored Alice in Bhuleshwar: Navigating a Mumbai Neighbourhood (Yoda Press. New Delhi, 2009) and The Architecture of I M Kadri (Niyogi. New Delhi, 2016). He has delivered keynote lectures and seminars at Cornell University, Centre Pompidou, Paris, besides other Indian and international universities, institutions, museums, and organisations; and has also contributed a section on Modern and Contemporary Architecture in India and South-Asia for the recent and updated edition of Bannister Fletcher’s “A History of World Architecture”. He is currently working on other architecture biographies – the works of Architect Sen Kapadia, as well as Architect Jeetendra Mistry
Mehta co-curated with Rahul Mehrotra and Ranjit Hoskote the national exhibitions on architecture – “The State of Architecture: Practices and Processes in India” (UDRI. 2016) at the National Gallery Modern Art, Mumbai and ‘State of Housing – Aspirations, Imaginaries, and Realities in India’ (UDRI. 2018). Both these exhibitions resulted in a two-volume edited publication each. He has been elected as the Jury Chairman for two consecutive terms (2015–17 and 2017–2019) for the international artists’ residency programme across 13 disciplines at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. He has been curating the Urban Design and Architecture section of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai since 2016. He recently curated two biographical exhibitions, a mid-career retrospective of Rahul Mehrotra and Associate Architects (Mumbai), as well as a memorial exhibition of the life and work of Jitendra Mistry (Ahmedabad).
He has set up courses in Architecture Theory as well as Art, Criticism and Theory, the politics around Craft as well as Aesthetics, and teaches across various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Mumbai including setting up the Art, Criticism, and Theory programme at Jnanapravaha (Mumbai). Mehta was the founding academic director of the Parsons – The New School for Design in Mumbai, India at the Indian School for Design and Innovation. He currently teaches at Balwant Sheth School of Architecture, NMIMS, and has previously taught at the K R V Institute for Architecture (full-time lecturer and senior lecturer 1999-2007), Jnanapravaha (Mumbai), as well as Sir J J College of Architecture, IES School of Architecture, and Rachana Sansad’s Academy of Architecture, as well as short courses and workshops across architecture schools in India, The K R Cama Oriental Institute, Artisans Gallery in Mumbai, the Tarq Gallery in Mumbai. He constantly teaches across universities and academies, while continuing to set up many and varied spaces for para-academic engagement and learning.
He has been recently appointed as the Dean at Balwant Sheth School of Architecture, at NMIMS University.