Manas Murthy

I’m a PhD student at the University of Oregon in the United States. I am an architect, urban designer and educator currently pursuing my PhD in Architecture at the University of Oregon. I have experience in action research and consultancy, in neighbourhood planning, sustainable mobility and community engagement. As an academic, I have taught undergraduate and postgraduate students of architecture and urban design, with a niche focus in mix-use design studios, urban morphology and research methodology.

The built environment of Delhi, like other major cities in the developing global South, is transforming and growing at a rapid pace. Much of this runaway urban development is unplanned or unaccounted for and is collectively bracketed as informal activity, with connotations of othering, illegitimacy, and incommensurability. A lack of understanding of informality here and a refusal to account for its practices, continue to prevent meaningful engagement between actors involved in the production and governance of cities in the global South. My research will interrogate informality through the case of an emergent building type called ‘builder floors’ in Delhi. The study of this case will broaden our understanding of informality in urban development practice and housing production, as well as, dislocate informality from the sole domain of marginalized, disenfranchised urban masses and uncover its entanglement with, and pervasiveness across classes, markets and the government.

Recent Publications

  1. Murthy, M. and Arora, V (2017). A New New Delhi? Re-Examining Areas of Conflict between Conservation and Redevelopment of Lutyens’ Delhi. IN: dos Santos, J. R. (2017). Preserving transcultural heritage: your way or my way? : questions on authenticity, identity and patrimonial proceedings in the safeguarding of architectural heritage created in the meeting of cultures. Caleidoscópio
  2. Arora, V. and Murthy, M. (2016). Re‐discovering Uttarkhand’s Cultural Identity: Issues for consideration during post‐disaster reconstruction. In Johnson, C. and the Conference Scientific Committee (eds) (2015). Reconstruction and Recovery in Urban Contexts. Conference proceedings. 7th International i-Rec 2015, London, UK. Montreal: Groupe de recherche IF, GRIF, Université de Montréal. Available at: ISBN: 978-2-9815234-1-9
  3. Jigyasu, R., Murthy, M., Boccardi, G., Marrion, C., Douglas, D., King, J., O’Brien, G. and UNISDR (2013). Heritage and Resilience: Issues and Opportunities for Reducing Disaster Risks. Available at: