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Smart Design Conference is a student-centric symposium staged as one of the premier knowledge-sharing platform in a virtual conference setting focusing on SMART DESIGN, SMART ARCHITECTURE & SMART CITIES through the lens of design technologies. The platform celebrates prominent works by design technologists, computational designers, architects, and participants & alumni of Smart Labs Programme that focuses on Design Technologies in Architecture. The conference aims to put forth discourses on Emerging technologies that will shape the future of Architecture and Designing industry bringing together architects, designers, developers, creators – all those who seek to change the world through the development of advanced architectural technologies, to seek ‘smartness’ in our built environment.


“I have my smart phone in my pocket, where is my smart education?”, a provocative question raised in TEDx Talk (Verma, Sushant. “Smart Cities need Smarter Design Education | Sushant Verma | TEDxGurugram.” YouTube, uploaded by TEDx Talks, 7 Apr. 2017) led to a series of academic investigations by exploring dynamic shifts in education of architectural design, later formulating as Smart Labs Programme to test an independent hybrid education system. This led to explorations of ‘smart’ design and architecture through explorations of advanced design technologies that can potentially affect our built environment and cities that we envision. Smartness has been embedded into our environment and in almost every aspect of our lifestyle now. We often hear the term ‘smart’ used in many contexts, prefixed to electronic devices, lighting systems, buildings, printers, everyday objects and even consumables such as water! But what is ‘smart’? How do we define smartness? If things have started to be smarter now, does that mean they were not smart until now? Looking into the aspect of SMART DESIGN in ARCHITECTURE, Smart Design Conference 2021 opens up dialogues and discourses on smartness in design, technology & education in a global symposium with domain experts and leaders of today, and of the future! 

- Sushant Verma

Co-Founder of rat[LAB] Studio

        & Director of Smart Labs

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Sanjay Puri

Principal Architect at

Sanjay Puri Architects

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Sujit Nair

Principal Architect & 

Co-Founder of  SDeG

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Suha Al-Salamain

Architect and Designer at

Almax Design

Mariana Cabugueira

Oscar McDonald

Madhav Raman

Principal & Co-Founder of

Anagram Architects

Associate at
Space Syntax

Architect at

Zaha Hadid Architects

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Abhishek Bij

Partner & Lead Designer at

Design Plus Architects

Amit Gupta

Founding Partner of

Studio Symbiosis

Sushant Verma

Co-Founder of rat[LAB] Studio

& Director of Smart Labs

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John Alok Decruz

Studio Director at


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Nishant Lall

Founder of NilaA Architecture

& Urban Design

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Akshay Goyal

Founder  of  TronX


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Urvi Sheth

Founder & Creative 

Director of Craft Quest

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Abhimanyu  Acharya

Associate at

Space Syntax

Priya Tadinada

Master Student at

The  Bartlett, UCL


The conference is curated by participants of Smart Labs 4.0 as a part of SmartLABSx initiative. Felicia Wagiri (Taipei, Taiwan), Jay Dagha (Mumbai, India) & Ishant Arora (Mumbai, India), together with the Studio Director of Smart Labs, Ar. Sushant Verma also the co-founder of rat[LAB] Studio (New Delhi, INDIA) form the multi-national team of curators for Smart Design Conference 2021.


Sushant Verma

Sushant Verma (M.Arch. Em.Tech. – AA London, B.Arch. SSAA New Delhi, MCoA India) is an Architect, Computational Designer & Educator, currently leading rat[LAB] Studio (Research in Architecture and Technology) that investigates intersections of design, art & technology through architecture, interior design and art installations. He is the founder of rat[LAB] EDUCATION, which is an initiative to spread the idea of computation in design through independently-organized design workshops for profession and academia.


Felicia Wagiri

Felicia Wagiri is a Taiwan-based architect and interior designer. She holds a B.A. from Petra Christian University (Indonesia) and a M.Arch. from NTUST (Taiwan). Her research explores how nature and technology can be used to improve the performance of space both socially and environmentally. In her master thesis, she investigated a series of kinetic skins to promote sustainable design in low-energy buildings. Her interests include computational design, digital fabrication, and environmental design.


Jay Dagha

Jay is a student of Architecture currently in his 4th year at Smt. K L Tiwari College of Architecture (Mumbai). He started to work as an interior designer under Rashim Resources in year 2017. Later starting his own practice under the badge of Quadrics Designs formally establishing it in year 2019. Jay is extremely passionate about speculative Architecture and wants to bridge the gap between Speculative and Buildable Architecture.

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Ishant Arora

Ishant Arora is an Architecture student currently in his 4rth year at Rachana Sansad Academy of Architecture (Mumbai). He is a student of Smartlabs batch 4.0. With his inclination to Computational Design, he believes that advancement in architecture should take place holistically with the built environment as well as the natural context. Most of his academic explorations revolve around the idea of Sustainable Architecture.

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Workshops are pre-recorded and curated specially for Smart Design Conference attendees and are beneficial for design students and professionals. The workshops are curated by Smart Labs 4.0 and run by students of fourth batch of Smart Labs covering various tools and strategies of advanced design & computational design.


Patrish Kumar

Parametric Recursion with Grasshopper3D


Siddharthan Saravanan

Dynamic Objects with Maya


Priyanka Kar

Procedural Aggregations - Discrete Design using Wasp Plug-in


Gulzar Ahmed Khan

Form Finding using Kangaroo Physics

Parametric Recursion will provide a comprehensive introduction to Recursions and the scripting methodology followed to create recursive systems using loops through the Grasshopper3d plugin Anemone. The workshop aims to teach anyone who wishes to incorporate loops and iterations in their Rhino GH design workflow. Fractals in 2D and 3D will be incorporated as design examples in the pedagogy to explain the working of a recursion based system.

Dynamic Objects will explore the unconventional geometries which are going to be explored through the polygonal modelling capabilities of Autodesk Maya exploring different approaches to create complexities in form and understanding the limitations of geometries, Students can understand the way how these geometries are achieved and the implementation of MASH Dynamics, how these tools be used to achieve design ideologies at a conceptual level and can be utilized as objects in the Virtual Realm.

Procedural Aggregations is an insight into the world of Discrete for anyone exploring new design technologies and its realization in Rhino Grasshopper workflow. The participants will be equipped with comprehensive theoretical and software skills, using various examples of procedural workflow, allowing them to explore the paradigm of complex aggregations and their ruleset methodologies.

The Workshop aims at introducing Kangaroo Plug-in; a Physics Simulation Engine based in Grasshopper to beginners and explore the various possibilities for form finding and physical explorations. The workshop would further touch upon some advanced workflows to model complex geometries and would give the attendees an in-depth knowledge about the application of the plug-in.


Saturday, 7 th August 2021

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM GMT

Sunday, 8 th August 2021

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM GMT