Virajita Singh is a designer, educator, researcher, university administrator and an artist. She is a change agent engaging principles of deep creativity and partnership to catalyze and empower individuals and communities, within and beyond the academy, to collaboratively change systems and create socially and environmentally just futures.
Trained as an architect in Mumbai, India, and in the United States, her participatory design work began with rural communities in Rajasthan, India while practicing architecture in New Delhi.
At the University of Minnesota, Virajita is Senior Research Fellow and adjunct faculty member in the College of Design. Her teaching includes architecture design studios, design thinking classes and courses related to design and sustainability. From 2011 – 2015 Virajita led Design Thinking @ College of Design, a collaborative that applied design thinking across sector. From 2014 – 2015 she co-led the Public Interest Design initiative for the College of Design.
Virajita founded and leads the Design for Community Resilience (DCR) program at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Sustainable Building Research which serves Minnesota communities, particularly in rural Minnesota.
Virajita believes that partnership is fundamental to cultural transformation of society and she serves as design editor for an open access journal, The Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Virajita brings design thinking and innovation to advancing equity and diversity work at the University of Minnesota serving as Assistant Vice Provost since 2015 and since September 2019 as Associate Vice Provost in the Office for Equity and Diversity.
Her portfolio includes the College MADE Initiative, supporting and catalyzing the advancement of equity, diversity & inclusion in the 17 colleges across the UMN – Twin Cities Campus and leading the Diversity Community of Practice and the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI). She also supervises and supports the Gender Sexuality Center for Queer & TransLife (GSC) and the Women’s Center (WmC) at the University of Minnesota.
Virajita is a committed artist with an art practice which currently includes Sumi-e ink drawings and one of her joys is volunteering at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Mia) as a Collection-in-Focus Guide in the Arts of China, Japan and Korea, and S/SE Asia Collections.