Student
Mona VijayKumar

Mona Vijaykumar is an architect based in India and envisions a society that collectively values diversity, ethnicity, and culture. Her approach to architecture and urban design dives into the larger spectrum of social egalitarianism and empowerment. She has initiated and designed numerous architecture and urban scale competitions/projects in India, USA, China, Ukraine, Bangladesh and Africa tackling social and environmental issues. She believes in a multi-disciplinary design approach that is adaptive, inclusive, and responsive.

She has been an active member of the MIT community since joining in Fall 2020. Her interest in social entrepreneurship and public service propelled her to work as a Graduate Student Fellow at  MIT-PKG public service center over the course of two semesters. In the Spring semester, her research interest in the intersection of climate change and adaptation processes led her to contribute as a research assistant at Civic Design Initiative directed by Prof.Yihyun Lim. As part of the Climate Grand Challenge, the research project aims to propose and develop a participatory adaptation platform to enable the world’s most climate-vulnerable communities to discover, negotiate with and migrate to receptive locations where they can thrive and be safe. 

She has earnestly participated in department initiatives such as the admissions mentorship program (AMP) and is currently working on a collaboration with the DUSP and department of architecture students to initiate a student-led discussion series that fosters cross-disciplinary conversations on various urban trajectories.

 

Areas of Interest
Alternative Energy, Building Materials, Civic Participation, Climate Change, Community Planning and Economic Development, Conflict, Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Participatory Planning, Food Systems, History and Theory of Planning, Landscape Architecture and Natural Systems, Regeneration, Social, Inclusion, and Diversity Planning, Sustainability, Water Conservation

Education

2014 - 2019
Bachelor of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University
2020 - 2022
Master of Science in Architectural Studies (SMArchS), Urbanism, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Academic Experience

2021 -
Graduate Teaching Assistant, 4.228 Contemporary Urbanism Proseminar , MIT
2021 -
Graduate Research Assistant, The Deep Listening Project, MIT
2021 - 2021
Graduate Research Assistant, Civic Design Initiative, MIT
2020 - 2021
Graduate Community Fellow, PKG center, MIT

Professional Experience

2018 - 2018
Architectural Intern, Junya Ishigami and Associates, Tokyo, Japan
2017 - 2018
Architectural Intern, Atto Atelier, Bengaluru, India
2017 - 2017
Architectural Intern, Architecture Brio, Mumbai, India

Awards

2021 -
MISTI India Fellowship, MIT
2021 -
National Winners, Organized by CCMC and GIZ to design an integrated neighborhood model for Coimbatore.
2020 -
Department of Architecture Graduate Fellowship, MIT
2020 - 2020
JK AYA Best Architecture Student of the Year , Council of Architecture, India
2020 - 2020
International Finalist, TUBE 8x8x300, Underground passageway renewal design competition
2019 - 2019
Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Thesis (Zonals), Council of Architecture, India
2018 - 2018
National Finalist (Top 20), Eyes on the canal, 'Reimagining Chennai's Buckingham Canal' by GIZ, idea competition
2018 - 2018
International Finalist (Top 5), Thinking hand- Non profit organization, Furniture design competition
2017 - 2017
National Winner, Enceladus award, Institutional building category
2016 - 2016
Winners (zonals), Transparence design competition by Ethos
2016 - 2016
National Finalist (Top 10), Gwalior re-invent design competition by Indian Institute of Architects
2016 - 2016
National Runner-up, Re-thinking traffic island design competition by Indian Institute of Architects
2015 - 2015
Jury commendation, IGBC National Green design competition by Ethos
2014 - 2019
M.G.R scholarship for academic performance, School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University

Exhibitions

2019 - 2019
'An Urban Room- Empowering street children', Undergraduate architecture thesis, Exhibited at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, India
2018 - 2018
'Eri- A vernacular water harvesting system', Research project, Exhibited and presented for the Laurie Baker Centenary Event in Chennai, India
2017 - 2017
'Home for birds, a paradigm shift', Exhibited at Association of Siamese Architects in Bangkok, Thailand