We envision an inclusive world where every human enjoys access to vibrant, safe and healthy spaces to live, work and play.

Community Design Agency (CDA) is an organisation of architects, engineers, artists, designers, community advocates, and business professionals who work alongside communities on the margins, addressing cultural and societal inequalities through the built environment. We drive social and spatial improvements through participatory planning, community-driven art and design and architecture for those in need.


Community Design Agency is supported by Curry Stone Foundation (CSF), a US-based organisation launched in 2007 by architect Cliff Curry and archaeologist Delight Stone. CSF supports groups and individuals using design to build healthier, more vital communities.  After running the Curry Stone Design Prize, where it recognised social design practices from around the world for over 10 years, CSF decided to support a practice in India that would take forward its belief that the benefits of social impact design should be accessible to those in greatest need.

Visit Curry Stone Foundation to learn more



We believe in building strong relationships and trust through long-term engagement with the communities. This helps us gain an in-depth and contextual understanding of their circumstances.


A deliberate, collaborative process is as important as the final built space. This involves working alongside people who will ultimately use the spaces, engaging them as stakeholders in an inclusive, replicable, participatory manner to unearth real needs and spark sustainable self-determination.


Our design process supports organic and community-led transformation by enabling and empowering community members to become decision makers while we play the role of being facilitators.


We understand that each community and their needs are unique; therefore, our solutions vary. We use design as a tool to enhance human flourishing and improve physical, social and psychological well-being. We pay particular attention to the potential long-term impacts of our interventions on the health and wellness of our client communities.


We offer design, research and planning consultancy services to people and organisations who are interested in:

Graphic of a drawing compass on a blueprint

Architecture and Planning

Providing architecture, construction and design services that are sensitive to local context and the needs of communities.
Drawing of community members sitting around redevelopment plans

Participatory Design and Mapping

Facilitating community led activities and discussions to map spaces, systems and experiences that help build research, bring forward collective ideas and add user insights to solutions.
Graphic of a calendar in the background with a clock in the foreground

Construction and Project Management

Going beyond the conventional aspects of project management, quality assurance and value engineering, we consider the needs of the communities and their socio-economic conditions while preparing project timelines and cash flow. We also train them on construction work to improve their employability, creating adaptable and customised solutions for every community.
Graphics of people workshopping designs around a table

Design Research and Workshops

Conducting qualitative ethnographic field research to build an in-depth understanding of communities, their needs and aspirations. Hosting design thinking workshops and engagements for organizations and teams to build empathy and inclusivity in thought and action.
Graphics of talk bubbles, a pen and notepad, polaroids, and a silhouette

Experience Design

Creating vibrant and immersive environments that are central to the community’s, the organisation’s and/or the exhibitors work and values.
Silhouettes of children playing around a park bench and tree

Public Space Design

Designing, planning and executing spaces that facilitate social interactions and activities in areas where there is lack of space and/or lack of interaction.


The Community Design Agency team includes architects, engineers, artists, designers, filmmakers and researchers.

Headshot of Anuja Bhandari

Anuja Bhandari

Junior Architect
Anuja is an architect with a passion for sustainable and ecological architecture. Her interests lie in elevating the socio-economic status of marginalized communities by promoting citizen rights and designing quality habitats. She has worked at the grassroots with artisans, craftsmen, communities and professionals, and pursues the same at Community Design Agency.
Headshot of Bhawna Jaimini

Bhawna Jaimini

Lead, Community Development
Bhawna is an architect, writer and researcher based in Mumbai. At the Community Design Agency, she works on projects that seek to improve the built habitat of some of the most marginalised communities in urban areas of India. She is deeply passionate about the rights of women and children living in neglected neighbourhoods and how architecture can address social and spatial inequities.

Himani Naidu

Junior Designer
Himani Naidu is an architect who graduated from Mumbai University. She is eager to research urban landscapes and work towards improving the inequities in urban life. She has experience working on various documentation projects for marginalized sections of urban society and acknowledges the importance of working with local communities to innovate solutions that align with people’s needs.
Headshot of Irshad Quereshi

Irshad Quereshi

Finance Officer
Irshad is a qualified Company Secretary and a financial professional, with skills and experience in accounting, reporting, financial planning and analysis as well as in compliance and regulatory matters. He has a keen eye for details and a passion for business development, setting financial milestones and targets for the organisation’s growth.

Moeen Khan

Community Filmmaker
Moeen Khan is a budding rapper and amateur filmmaker from Govandi, Mumbai. He is known in his neighborhood for writing, editing and producing the rap song “Haq se Govandi”(Govandi, my pride) after having felt the absence of positive cultural representation of his neighborhood. He is known by his stage name Real Sultaan. He has since then ventured into creating and producing comic sketches for his YouTube channel. He also works as a producer for other budding artists from his neighborhood. He has prior experience working in a BPO which he left after finding his true
calling in the world of rap, music and filmmaking. Currently, Moeen assists in creating videos for a number community-led initiatives within his neighbourhood.
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Natasha Sharma

Senior Research Associate, Art and Design
Natasha Sharma is an artist and design researcher, with keen interest in exploring people’s relationship with their urbanised built environment and how that shapes individual behaviours and collective systems. These explorations are aimed at bringing social and environmental improvements, made tangible through public art installations, participatory design interventions and public programs. At CDA, she has been closely working alongside people living in underserved neighbourhoods to recognise their social and spatial needs and address it through community-led programs and interventions.
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Prashant Khandwe

Project Accountant
Prashant is a Commerce graduate with 10 years of experience in accounting. He works at CDA’s regional office in Ahmednagar, managing the finances of the slum redevelopment project currently underway. He enjoys working with the diverse team on site and wishes to grow further in construction project accounting.
Headshot of Rohini Singh

Rohini Singh

Outreach and Advocacy Associate
Rohini is a development practitioner who has experience working in documentation, research, archiving and administration with grassroots and arts-based organisations. She believes in community-led action to address societal inequalities. At CDA, she handles the outreach and advocacy led initiatives and oversees the running of the studio. She holds a degree in Economics from Delhi University and is a Young India Fellow from Ashoka University.

Sagar Nipurte

Junior Research Associate
Sagar is an architect based in Mumbai. At Community Design Agency he seeks to learn and work more on ground with different communities and contribute to the betterment of the people. He is passionate about working towards empowerment of marginalized and underprivileged communities through policy, planning and architecture in both rural as well as urban areas.

Sandhya Naidu Janardhan

Managing Director
Sandhya Naidu Janardhan is an architect with 12 years of experience in community-led design and sustainable architecture. At Community Design Agency, she is working with a diverse group of disadvantaged communities, civic agencies and designers to address inequities in the built environment. Licensed and educated in India, Sandhya is also a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a TEDIndia Fellow. Her previous work spans multiple countries, in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors – including landscape architecture and design for a Singapore-based interdisciplinary design firm, and post-earthquake reconstruction in Haiti for a US Based non-profit.
Headshot of Sarika Singh

Sarika Singh

Executive Assistant
Sarika is an operations and HR professional with over 5 years of experience in recruitments, customer relations and administration. Her interest in working for the upliftment of marginalised communities drew her to the development sector, and she wishes to grow further in this field. At CDA, Sarika handles the administrative responsibilities of the studio and assists with outreach and other business-related activities. She holds an MBA in H.R. and Marketing from Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Technical University.

Shashank Mittal

Lead, Partnerships and Development
Shashank is a designer by training and has over 8 years of experience working in the development sector, across rural and urban contexts. He believes that empathetic design practices have the ability to effectively address social and economic inequalities around us. At CDA, alongside being involved in ongoing projects, he works to establish new partnerships and engagement opportunities for the studio.
He holds a BFA in Interior Design from the School of Visual Arts and is a Young India Fellow (Ashoka University).
Headshot of Siddharth Tataria

Siddharth Tataria

Senior Architect
Siddharth has an architectural sensibility that is rooted in the fundamentals of scientific enquiry and problem solving. As an architect, he has over 10 years of experience in designing for indigenous rural cultures as well as urban contexts. At CDA, he focuses on arriving at design solutions taking into consideration all the variables of function, ecology, cost, aesthetics and socio cultural context.
Headshot of Vandana Padmanabhan

Vandana Padmanabhan

Project Manager
Vandana is an engineer, who is curious about all aspects of construction and the built environment. At the studio, she implements project management strategies to manage and improve the efficiency of design and construction projects. She is interested in exploring how traditional construction and project management practices can be implemented in community based design and construction projects. Vandana has a Postgraduate degree in Construction Technology and Management from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras and is developing a methodology and model for chloride ingress in concrete as a part of her Doctoral Research at IIT, Delhi.

Community Partners

Headshot of Najmunnisa Khan

Najmunnisa Khan

Najmunnisa Khan is a former primary school teacher and currently works as a
community organiser with Community Design Agency. A resident of Natwar Parekh
Colony, she wants to work towards making her colony a better place for women and
children, while also carving a unique identity for herself. Najmun was formerly a part of
Myna Mahila Foundation where she was working to help underprivileged women
access sanitary napkins. She is passionate about children’s education and is currently
training to be a library educator.
Headshot of Parveen Shaikh

Parveen Shaikh

Parveen Shaikh is a social worker and community organiser with over 20 years of experience in advocacy work for the rights of slum and pavement dwellers. A powerful public speaker, she has championed the cause of safe formal housing for vulnerable communities at multiple national and international forums as a former member of the National Slum Dwellers Federation. She helped set up the Myna Mahila Foundation in 2015, which works on issues of menstrual health in underserved communities, and is currently the President of Navnirman Association, the federation body of Natwar Parekh Colony. Passionate about the rights of women from Muslim and minority communities, she continues to support the women and young girls of her neighbourhood through her work at Community Design Agency and beyond.


Head shot of Clifford Curry

Cliff Curry


Architect Clifford Curry’s fifty-plus year career has been dedicated to strengthening underserved communities using architecture, design-and collaboration. For over thirty-five years, Cliff focused his practice on senior living and designed 320 affordable, service-rich innovative facilities that mitigate loneliness, elevate quality of life and promote wellbeing- years before this thinking was fashionable. Arguably his work changed the paradigm for senior housing.

In 2007, out of a desire to further the use of design as a tool to improve the lives of people who don’t usually have access to design services, he co-founded the Curry Stone Foundation with his partner, historical archaeologist and community activist Delight Stone. Together with their team, they promote, empower and inspire a global generation of social design pioneers working in-and with, diverse communities.

Head shot of Delight Stone

Dr. Delight Stone

For over forty years Dr. Delight Stone has worked across platforms and geographies promoting, defending and creating community vitality. Delight is a philanthropist, historical archeologist and community activist. This activism has been local, national, and international and includes work in archaeology, cultural resource management, architectural preservation, design, public health, and environmental and social justice.

In 2007, she and Cliff Curry co-founded the Curry Stone Foundation and the Curry Stone Design Prize to promote and honour designers who address the critical social needs of people who are not typically served by the design community. Among other facets of the prize, Delight oversaw production of short documentary videos about the winners.

Head shot of Gary Feuerstein

Gary Feuerstein

Gary Feuerstein is an architectural engineer with a diverse background in building structural, mechanical and electrical systems. Having worked throughout the U.S., as well as China and Iraq, Feuerstein often provided technical insight and review on the Curry Stone Foundation’s (CSF) initiatives. He is a Director at the CSF and joined the Curry Stone Design Collaborative team in 2017, where he regularly advises the team on their design and construction projects.

Sandhya Naidu Janardhan

Sandhya Naidu Janardhan is an architect with 12 years of experience in community-led design and sustainable architecture. At Curry Stone Design Collaborative, she is working with a diverse group of disadvantaged communities, civic agencies and designers to address inequities in the built environment. A graduate of Columbia University’s GSAPP in New York City, Sandhya’s prior experiences span multiple countries include working at an interdisciplinary design firm based in Singapore, and prior to that at the San Francisco based non-profit, Architecture for Humanity.


Asia Initiatives (USA)

Ecowork International Association

Global Challenges Research Fund (UK)


Hunnarshala Foundation

Nagari Short Film Competition

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - Urban

Rang De

Resource Futures (UK)


Sofies India

Youth for Unity and Volunteer Action


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