Academic Deans

Professor Arvind Merchant is a graduate of the premier design institute of India, the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad in Industrial Design. He has over 30 years of extensive experience in professional consultancy and design in areas of product, exhibitions, graphics, visual identity, publishing, advertising, retail, craft and toys. His client list includes Gillette, Oral 'B', Wilkinson Razors, Henko, Max Pharma, Bennet & Colman, Personal Point, New Delhi YMCA, All things Beautiful, Amex Air Conditioners, Hero Puch, 'Poompuhar' the Tamilnadu Handicrafts Corporation, Tamilnadu Tourism Corporation, Madras Metropolitan Development Agency, Sumeet Mixie, Craft Council of India, 'Cooptex' Tamilnadu Textiles Corporation, Tamilnadu Non-conventional Energy Development Agency, “Danida” Danish Development Agency, Hotel President Towers, The Hindu' Newspaper, HMV Gramophone Company, Orient Longman Publishers, British Council and Haryana Handlooms Corporation.

His extensive experience in education has seen him associated not only with national institutes like NIFT, MIT Institute of Design, Indian Institute of Craft Development and Maharaja Ranjit Sinh Gaikwad Institute of Design (MS University), Vadodara Gujarat; but also with schools like 'Mandara' Educational Society (Non Formal School for Children of weaker section).

Prof. SM Kulkarni is a graduate of Sir J.J. School of Arts, Bombay, post graduate from College of Fine Arts, Baroda and a second post graduation from National Institute of Design, AHMEDABAD. Prior to joining WUD, he was the Dean of Sushant School of Design at Ansal University. He has also taught at NIFT, IICD, FDDI and Banasthali University, Rajasthan. Besides teaching, Prof. Kulkarni has over 30 years of consulting experience. Some of his prestigious assignments include the Golden Eye Exhibition at Copper Hewits Museum New York, as part of Festival of India; Apana Ustav (New Delhi); Timeless art Exhibition for Times of India Centenary Celebration; Muzaffar Ali for film Zooni etc. The repertoire of clients also includes Ritu Kumar, UNDP, SEWA, Findia Foundation, NCJD & Ministry of Textiles.

Shaleen Sharma has been a practicing Architect for over 18 years and had been actively involved in academics on visiting basis with reputed institutions like University School of Architecture and Planning (USAP) Delhi and Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies, Juhu, Mumbai. His formal education includes a Bachelors in Architecture from the TVB School of Habitat Studies and Masters in PRASADA (Practice Research and Advancement in South Asian Design and Architecture) from De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Shaleen is also known for exploring the medium of film in the context of Architecture. He has made several documentaries for UGC on the subject of Architecture. Garden of the Heart: A Film on Architect Joseph Allen Stein is one of his well acclaimed documentaries.

Devender is a Fashion Design graduate of NIFT and a post graduate of London College of fashion, UK. His Graduate collection is part of the University of Arts archive and is being used by the university as a benchmark for its Masters Programme. Kharb has over 3 years of experience in academics and over 12 years work experience as a Buyer, merchandiser and designer of luxury fashion goods in Europe’s design houses and high street suppliers in South Asia. His work has been exhibited at trade fares and private events across Europe. He has been a design consultant to many international companies and chain of stores in UK. He Represented UK at Concours International des Jeunes Createurs de Mode (2004) Paris, France. He is also one of the founders and the creative head of ‘The Infusion Store’, an e-commerce platform for contemporary Asian fashion in Europe.

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Sanmitra has a multidisciplinary educational background and is a knowledge enthusiast. She holds a Masters in Strategic Design Management from NID - National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and a Degree in Commercial Arts (BFA). She also holds a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Sanmitra has an extensive experience in Innovation Management, Design Management, Marketing & User Experience, Start – up guidance, Design Strategy, Business development, Design research and User Experience Design. Sanmitra has worked in the field of the Design and Innovation industry and has successfully collated what it takes to transfer knowledge and experience from the Industry to education.
She has conducted numerous Design thinking workshops in the Industry (Information Technology, Banking, Finance and Insurance, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing and logistics domain).
Sanmitra is a Global Design Ambassador with regards to User Experience Design. She is a trained Z-MET (Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique) Interviewer and Analyzer.
Sanmitra is proficient at delivering strategic thinking across all levels, in Integrating Design, Business, Strategy, and Innovation within corporate businesses and strives towards making a greater impact within in the field of Design Management by seeking collaboration within the Industry and education.

Swati has a bachelor from College of Art, Chandigarh and a masters in graphic design (visual communication) from NID. In an enriching career, Swati has worked on wide ranging projects including Jaiprakash Narayan Museum, Luchnow; Bihar Museum Project; Raja Ravi Varma Hertage Foundation; Manna Trust, Danone Yogurt, Emantra, Comprehensive Prosthetics & Orthotics etc. She was working as a design consultant with the Design Factory before joining WUD.