Mrs Mittul Vahanvati


Research Officer

School /
Work Unit

School of Global, Urban & Social Studies

Contact Details

No Phone


City campus


College of Design and Social Context

Key activities

Mittul Vahanvati

Mittul Vahanvati has over ten years of professional experience in the field of sustainability, architecture, teaching and research. Her area of expertise is in ecologically sustainable design and material selection, disaster resilient cities and communities and experiential learning. She has worked on varied projects such as residences, multi-residential apartments, office block, and innovative landscape for blind girls, interior design and product designs. She is particularly interested in bamboo as a sustainable construction material and co-production model to realise a structure. She has worked in rural and urban settings projects in India, Switzerland and Australia.

Mittul is a co-founder of a social-enterprise ‘GIANT GRASS’, which specializes in value-addition of bamboo by means of design. She loves bamboo as it is highly due to bamboo’s sustainable properties. She has designed, constructed and conducted hands-on workshops using bamboo as a primary source of material in tribal villages of India and among university students and local communities in Australia.

In the academic field, Mittul is currently pursuing a PhD at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) under the supervision of Dr Martin Mulligan and Dr Beau Beza. She has over nine years of experience teaching various courses around architecture, construction, design, sustainability and community. Currently she is course-coordinator for the postgraduate course Urbanisation Issues in the Developing World.


  • 2012 (current): PhD, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia
    Topic – Post-disaster housing reconstruction as a means to building disaster resilience: The case of India
  • 2005: MBEnv Sust.Dev, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia
    Thesis – Sustainability Principles: Ecology as the basis for the mode of architectural design and practice
  • 2003: B.Arch, School of Architecture, Centre for Environmental Design & Technology (CEPT) Ahmedabad, India
  • 2001: Exchange program, Zurcher Hochschule Winterthur (ZHW), Switzerland

Industry experience

  • 2015 (current) – Research team member, Research and Innovation, RMIT, Melbourne
  • 2010-2012 – Project team member, Scape environments Melbourne
  • 2010 – Project team member, Fender Katsalidis Architects Melbourne
  • 2009 – Project team member, H2o Architects Melbourne, Australia
  • 2009 – Eco Colleges, Project leader, UNSW’s Environment Unit, Sydney
  • 2005-2007 – ESD Researcher and Project leader, Caroline Pidcock Architects Sydney
  • 2004 (current) – Co-founder, Giant Grass, Melbourne
  • 2003 – Educator, National Institute of Design (NID) and Bamboo and Cane Development Institute (BCDI), Tripura, India

Teaching experience

Postgraduate courses

  • ARCH 1265: Urbanization Issues in Developing World, Postgraduate course, RMIT, Melbourne (Course-coordinator)
  • ARCH 1273: Urban Regions: Strategies Considerations for Development, Postgraduate course, RMIT (Tutor)
  • SUSD0003: Resources, Materials and Sustainability, Faculty of the Built Environment, UNSW, Sydney (Tutor)
  • Hands-on construction workshops (using bamboo, cardboard), UNSW, Sydney, Australia (Facilitator)

Undergraduate courses

  • ABPL20033: Construction Analysis, Faculty of Architecture, University of Melbourne (Tutor)
  • ABPL30037: Architectural Design Studio 4: Fire, Faculty of Architecture, University of Melbourne (Tutor)
  • ENVS10001: Natural Environments, Environments and Design, University of Melbourne (Tutor)
  • 11206: Introduction to Construction and Structural Synthesis, Design, Architecture, Building, UTS (Tutor)
  • Project-X: Multidisciplinary Design Workshop, Faculty of the Built Environment, UNSW (Tutor)
  • INTA2271: Technology 3, Interior Architecture, UTS (Tutor)
  • INTA2171: Technology 1, Interior Architecture, UTS (Tutor)
  • ARCH1171: Architectural Technologies 1, Faculty of the Built Environment, UNSW (Tutor)


  • Australian Institute of Architects
  • Indian Institute of Architects
  • Bamboo Society of Australia
  • Alternative Technology Australia

Research interests

  • Sustainable architecture
  • Resilient homes and cities
  • International community development
  • Building with bamboo and other natural materials
  • Rural development
  • Urban design and developing countries
  • The context of India
  • Women and built environment


  • Vahanvati, M. and Vahanvati, M. 2009, Our explorations in bamboo constructions. World Bamboo Congress-VIII, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Vahanvati, M. and Vahanvati, M. 2006, Design explorations in bamboo architecture. IDS Conference Wonderground 2006, Lisbon, Portugal