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Nikhila Madabhushi


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Personal profile


Nikhila works across the architecture and humanitarian development disciplines, to collaboratively create projects that shape our built and socio-spatial environments.

Through her architectural practice she creates culturally and environmentally responsive residential and public works. Recently she co-founded emerging social impact design studio Of_Substance. From here Nikhila explores research-based practises towards spatial justice in our built environment, with a special focus on decolonial and participatory methods.

In 2017, Nikhila was a recipient of the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, awarded by Australia Council for the Arts. This enabled her to pursue her passion of exploring how architecture can critically influence positive social change and equity. Part of this was through an undertaking of the interdisciplinary, field-based degree, Master of Disaster, Design and Development at RMIT.

In 2020 Nikhila was awarded the position of Monash Innovation Fellow within the Department of Architecture. Her research focusses on rethinking "community-led" recovery of built environments in the regional Victorian context, following the recent bushfires in East Gippsland / Gunaikurnai-Bidawel Country.

Education/Academic qualification

Global Development & Disaster Managment, Master of Disaster, Design & Development, RMIT University

1 Jul 201730 Jun 2019

Award Date: 1 Oct 2019

Architecture, Master of Architecture, Deakin University

1 Mar 200731 Oct 2008

Award Date: 1 Dec 2008

Design & Construction Management, Bachelor of Design & Bachelor of Construction Management (Double Degree), Deakin University

1 Mar 200331 Oct 2006

Award Date: 1 Dec 2006

Research area keywords

  • Decoloniality
  • Participatory Design
  • Humanitarianism
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • International Development
  • Community Development
  • Spatial Justice
  • Spatial Equity
  • Co-Creation
  • Gentrification
  • Migration
  • Public Housing
  • Urbanism
  • Design Thinking
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Post-Disaster Recovery


Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship

Madabhushi, Nikhila (Recipient), 31 May 2017

Prize: National/international honour

Monash Innovation Fellow

Madabhushi, Nikhila (Recipient), 6 Jul 2020

Prize: Competitive Fellowships

Peddle Thorp Architects Master of Architecture Travel Scholarship

Madabhushi, Nikhila (Recipient), 1 Jun 2008

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)