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  • Chennai
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Divya Chakravarti

Conservation Architect  


I am Divya Chakravarti, a  Conservation Architect from Chennai. I am a Director at a start up called Samrakshan Heritage Consultancy LLP.  Besides, having worked on a few projects , both conservation related and others related to architectural design and interiors; I have been involved in teaching at architecture  colleges in Chennai ( part time and visiting faculty)( Hindustan University and B.S. Abdur Rahman University)  both for undergraduate and graduate studies involving Conservation Studies ( Anna University, Chennai). I am currently working on a teaching program for UGC, to create video classes for certain subjects of Architecture.


As a  strong willed, team spirited and enthusiastic  individual, I am  seeking an opportunity to utilize my skills  to contribute to the  growth and development of young students and lead them in the correct direction suitable to their aptitude.   I look forward not only to enhance my career but also, take this as an opportunity to learn and improve my knowledge through teaching as well as research.


I have a strong inclination towards architectural photography and journalism.  My other interest include reading especially research oriented journals and books with respect to conservation and preservation. I hope to work towards writing articles about architecture, conservation and preservation in journals both in India and abroad. I was able to start on my writing expedition in Scotland during my internship where I helped them produce the text for the Preservation and Maintenance of War Memorials ( 2009). Recently, I have been published in the INTACH Journal of Heritage Studies( ISSN: 2395-6909)(2015). I have also been able to satisfy the travel bug in me in the past few years where I have travelled across the globe ( United States and England) and learnt so much from seeing new places and meeting new people.


Listed below are my educational qualifications and the details of my work history and  few internships which could have been brief in time but definitely an experience of a lifetime. Through my journey in architecture and then Historic Preservation in the past decade, one thing has remained constant in the flurry of variables- my dedication and interest towards conservation and preservation. I truly am looking for the right opportunity to showcase my dedication, put the skills I have learnt to use and learn through the process as well.  I have a strong inclination towards teaching and strongly believe that even as a practicing architect, I should devote time and give back some of the experience I have gained.

Work History

Samrakshan Heritage Consultants

Dec 2012Present

Director/ Partner

  • I am a partner of a 2 person consultancy firm started in December 2012. We primarily concentrate on conservation and heritage related projects but have a keen developed sense of design as well and do take up other  design projects as well.
  • We were recently  working as sub- consultants with PWD as clients
  • A private project at Bangalore which we  completed with interiors and architectural design.
  • A private project for a property developer in Chennai for  villa designs.
  •   We were also involved with the CMDA ( Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority) for classification of heritage buildings in the city according to grades ( based on laws and bye-laws).

I aim and hope  to keep myself constantly movement in the industry, as a way not only to update myself but also help keep my students updated with the current industry practices.

De Artisan: Reprisal of Traditional Materials, Method & Technology

Jan 2014Present

Co- Founder

As both conservation architects and academicians, my partner and I felt there was a wide gap between traditional materials and their perception in students mind with respect to current projects. From this thought, came out the idea of De Artisan- our attempt to resurrect traditional building construction methods. We started by teaming up with Dakshina Chitra and we successfully completed a workshop on Athangudi Tiles. We received great response and a lovely article was written about our attempt in The Hindu. We did similar such workshops for colleges as well related to adobe construction and bamboo construction.I am passionate about restoring traditional materials of construction across the country as well and directly learn from craftsmen to help them keep the technology alive.

B.S. Abdur Rahman University; Crescent School of Architecture

Jul 2013Jan 2014

Assistant Professor

After a spending a couple of years teaching at Hindustan University, I had to shift my focus to another university due to proximity issues- I had relocated but fortunately found myself comfortable teaching in a new atmosphere quite quickly too. My area of focus was history of architecture and architectural design for third years along with guiding a final year thesis student.

Anna University

May 2013Dec 2014

Visiting Faculty

This was my first time teaching a post graduate program in Conservation. It was an enlightening experience to teach post graduate students who already had a sense of focus and discipline but merely needed a guiding hand. It was a short spiel for one semester for two courses- Basics of Conservation and History of Historic Preservation.

Hindustan University

Sep 2012May 2013

Asst. Professor

In my student days, I had been influenced by some splendid and interested faculty members and as a token of that appreciation I decided to devote some of my time towards teaching, giving something back to the student community. I worked part time, so I can devote time to my projects as well. Though officially part time faculty, I was handling classes through the day- the subjects I was involved in were History, Contemporary Architecture, Conservation (elective subject) and Architectural Design.

City of Pasadena

Feb 2010Aug 2010


I had been working in the department of Design and Historic preservation with the City of Pasadena in the capacity of an Intern. My work there was  varied and I had some great opportunities to work with different people on different projects. I was  actively involved in writing Staff Reports, Certificate of Appropriateness etc. I also had a chance to interact with some of the residents of Pasadena, during the filing of an application. I was working on the Multiple Property Designation of Pre -Craftsmen Era houses and the basic field research on the Bungalow Courts in Pasadena.

May 2009Aug 2009

Summer Intern

This short internship in an entirely different set up helped me grasp and learn about the functioning of preservation and conservation in a different country. It was an enlightening experience, despite the short duration. The history and culture of the city definitely was a plus and I personally was involved in the project of creating documentation towards the preservation of War Memorials from the First and Second World Wars. I was also working on the preservation techniques of historic stone and their special cleaning and maintenance techniques.

This was truly a knowledge packed experience from an entirely different perspective. I also got to travel and expand on my photographic interest and basic knowledge. I contributed towards the images in the literature and the text as well.

Vikas Dilawari and Associates

May 2006Oct 2006


My interest in conservation and preservation was at its infancy when I got an opportunity to work with Vikas Dilawari, a known name in preservation architecture in India. In this small yet busy firm, I was truly an intern involved in all stages of working within the office and on site. I have worked on sites away from Mumbai, with some high profile clients and involved actively in client discussions as well. I learnt a lot about the whole process of preservation  work in Mumbai and  in India. It was an eye opening experience which definitely strengthened my interest in preservation and decided my journey towards the United States for further education. It was during this period of work, that one of the projects I worked on received an Internally acclaimed Award, UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards (2008). The project was Craigie Burn Bungalow, Matheran, India. The link for accessing the list of award winners:


Aug 2008Jun 2010

Masters in Historic Preservation

The next step after my internship with a prominent conservation architect from Mumbai, Vikas Dilawari, I realized my education was definitely not complete and, Masters in Historic Preservation at University of Southern California slipped in like the missing piece of a puzzle. The 85% scholarship offered by the University was an added bonus and made my journey here possible. The two years of study had been a wonderful journey with new lessons learnt every day from different fields of study in architecture, preservation and even beyond. I have excelled as a student till now and sincerely hope the trend continues. I maintained a GPA of 3.9.

Jul 2003May 2008


I pursued my undergraduate studies in SRM University from my home city, Chennai, India. It was an enriching experience with a lot to learn. It was truly a good combination of text book knowledge with practical skill. Through the five years, I endeavored to maintain a GPA of 8.32. I was one of the top 3 students in the university and was  facilitated with  an award of excellence to acknowledge. As a part of our curriculum we worked with a practicing architect of our choice (this is a crucial decision as one's career can change based on this one move). We were exposed to the rich and encompassing history and culture of India, which definitely set a strong foundation in my journey in architecture.



Computer Aided Design- Auto Cad/ Revit

  Auto cad and Revit are the accessories I have been using to enhance the display of my design and work during my undergraduate studies. They played a crucial role in expressing my work during my final thesis in my undergraduate studies which was Heritage Tourism: A Hub in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh, India. I am very proficient with the above mentioned software and do think they are necessary as a drawing is self explanatory even to a lay man when done in the right way.   I have a keen interest in basics of graphic design and most of my projects till now, I have worked with Photoshop to create interesting front pages and images. I am also proficient with the usual Microsoft Office which are used in most administrative side of work as well as research.  


Pidilite Awards

Feb 2008Present

Award for Excellence in Architectural Studies

During my architecture studies, on my college's recommendation Pidilite recognized my efforts in design and architectural study by giving me a small token of appreciation during an award ceremony.