Amrita Mahindroo

08/29/22, 6:00PM

  • Tuesday, August 29, 2022

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Support for this lecture is generously provided by the Nan & Sun Xiao Endowed Lecture Fund

DROO is an awarding winning emerging practice founded by Michel Da Costa Gonçalves and Amrita Mahindroo. 

By engaging the human within the macro, the studio bridges urban research and design to conceive active built environments during an era of deep social and environmental responsibility. It brings together the complex strata of contexts both intellectual and physical through metrics that we all share. Questioning emerging technologies, environmental and social change in our cities, DROO works with sensitive, highly contextual projects considering adaptive reuse of heritage structures. 


The office engages with social and climatic sustainability through the notion of time by bridging the dilemma between the urgency imposed by today’s deregulations and the legacy of long-lasting projects to create a durable cultural contribution. This approach seeks to extend the life of existing and future buildings through circular reuse in both material and typological models by layering shared practices and opportunities for change. Looking closely at the social, economic, and political landscapes, each project aims at creating a sense of place where each imbricated scale is an ecosystems of users, situations, and opportunities. 


Working from the object to the urban, from furniture to the city, each scale is an opportunity to exercise architecture as an art utile, a useful art which questions our habits, changes our behaviours and helps adapt to our finite resources and shifting political landscapes, as an active canvas. Each project is at once a tailored solution to the design problem at hand, but also part of our overarching body of research which engages the community and is an armature for social and environmental agency.

Having originally studied in France, Michel successively graduated from the Architectural Association where he later taught for several years. Establishing the school’s link to Asia, his prospective work questioned the making of fast-growing urban conditions considering deep-rooted metropolitan conditions such as London. Director of the urban living book series “Villes” (Edition Autrement), his publications investigate urban engagement, building typologies or evolutionary computing.

Over the last few years, Michel has developed several projects with high profile engineering constraints. His interests in the integration of digital modelling and production tools in both the design and construction phases have contributed to the practice’s innovative approach and cost-effective bespoke solutions.


Amrita Mahindroo is an Architect, urbanist and writer holding a degree from the University of Melbourne and being graduated in Architecture and Urbanism from the MIT. Amrita’s research is focused on the implications of the macro on the very tangible questions of the shape of our cities, architectural tectonics through industry and human experience. 

She works closely with local communities and education institutions including urban youth initiatives through workshops in schools, to create strong public engagement on each project with a consistent view to co-create. 

She has a breadth of experience in both private and public sector projects with a particular focus on Collective Housing projects, mixed use programs in Hospitality, Contemporary Art Museums and Urban regeneration plans. Amrita has had the opportunity to lecture, teach and publish widely across the US and Europe on her research including, the Royal Academy of Arts in London, University of Melbourne, Cambridge University, UCLA, UPenn, UNC, University of Oklahoma and MIT.