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Deepa Butoliya

Assistant Professor


Photograph of Deepa Butoliya


Curriculum Vitae
  • Ph.D, Carnegie Mellon University
  • MFA, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • M Des, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
  • B.Arch, Priyadarshini College of Eng. and Architecture

Deepa Butoliya was born and raised in India and has been living in the US since 2009. Deepa’s research is located at the intersection of models of knowledge and critical thinking emerging from multiple and global perspectives. Deepa’s doctoral research explored the phenomena behind the term Jugaad with the mission to bring ingenuity to the ever-evolving landscape of design, technology, and culture. She wants to help create a sustainable, equitable and inclusive environment for the societies with local awareness and global perspective.

Deepa’s interest in balancing technical and artistic perspectives led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in architecture. After working for several architectural firms, Deepa decided to pursue design and went on to earn a masters degree in industrial design from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in India. During that period, Deepa was drawn to design practiced at the grassroots level and she worked with Development Lab at MIT, Boston to create design solutions for international development which gave her experience in design for social innovation along with working as an industrial designer.

After moving to the US, Deepa earned an MFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Along with a work experience that spans across architecture and design, Deepa has taught design courses at the Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Deepa has also worked as a design and user experience researcher at Next Generation Imaging Group along with GE healthcare at UPMC Enterprises in Pittsburgh where she conducted research with clinicians from the UPMC hospitals and worked with scrum teams for the development of enterprise products.

Dr. Butoliya’s research over the past few years has focused on critical perspectives and practices in design. She researches critique in design from multiple pluriversal perspectives. Her doctoral research is rooted in exploring critical design practices from the global south and involves exploring the criticality embedded in the ubiquitous and very human practice of Jugaad which is a hindi term for makedo situated under severe constraints. As a part of her research, she has co-curated an international exhibition and organized a symposium to explore the current practices in speculative and critical design by bringing in global perspectives in the knowledge, research and practice of this genre of design. Deepa has presented her research and conducted workshops at several conferences like IDSA, Making Futures, EPIC, CHI, IASDR and Speculative Futures.