Ishan Khosla

Associate Professor, Graphic Designer, Researcher, Artist



MFA Design degree, School of Visual Arts, New York City, USA. 05/05

BS Computer Science degree, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. 06/0


Short Programs:
Summer Program on Typography and Design: Hoschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Basel, Switzerland. 06/16

BFA Design Program, The Art Institute of Chicago, USA. 2002‑03




Ishan Khosla is an Associate Professor at the School of Design at UPES, Dehradun. He is also the founding partner of The Typecraft Initiative which was launched in order to create a dialogue with rural folk and tribal communities through craft, type design and technology. He is  also the director of the graphic design studio, Ishan Khosla Design LLP.

Khosla is a practicing visual artist, designer and researcher with an MFA in Design from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Having returned to India after living in the United States for over a decade, Ishan explores various facets of the contemporary Indian milieu through design. Much of his research has been about examining the links between upcycling, innovation and “undesign” via the informal economy of urban India. He is currently working on a book on lessons and insights from the people who work and live on the street.

His papers have been published in academic books such as State-of-the-Art Upcycling Research and Practice. [Springer,2021]; Art, Design and Society: Global Perspectives by the National Museum Institute, New Delhi [Macmillan 2021]; Bi–scriptual: Typography and Graphic Design with Multiple Script Systems [Niggli,2018]

Khosla’s design work has been published in Bi-scriptual — Typography and Graphic Design with Multiple Script SystemsTypographic UniverseFound TypeIndia Contemporary Design: Fashion, Graphics, Interiors; Tokyo Type Directors Club, New Graphic DesignAsian Graphics Now!Stop, Think, Go Do; Kyoorius Design AwardsandKyoorius In-book.

Exhibitions include, the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial, Perth, Australia | Handcraft for the digital : Type design from India at Atelier Muji Ginza, Tokyo | BOLD— Graphic Design from India, London Design Festival |  Crossing Visions V: The Ecology of Creation, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan | Fracture: New Directions on Contemporary Textiles, Devi Art Foundation | Make it New Again, NID, Ahmedabad | Common Ground at Gallery OED, Kochi. Works created for Porosity Kabari at Studio X, Mumbai in 2016 have been shown at — Matters of Hand: Craft, Design and Technique (SerendipityArts Festival) | Continental Shift: Contemporary art and South Asia (Bunjil Place) | Nishi Gallery, Canberra | the Australian Design Center, Sydney | and the Hawkesbury Gallery. Works made by Ishan are in the permanent collections of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan and the Powerhouse Museum, Australia.

Awards include the Oxford Bookstore, book cover of the year award; Tokyo Type Directors Club,  the Kyoorius Design Award, the Kyoorius design in-book, Asian-Pacific Design Awards, Graphis among others.

Ishan has given talks at Association Typographique Internationale, Type Drives Communities, Typo Berlin, TypoDay, London Design Festival, Pune Design Festival, Kyoorius Design Yatra, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Maison de Sciences de l'Homme, Semi-Permanent , the University of Edinburgh, College of Fine Arts, University of NSW (Sydney), Konstfack (Stockholm) and Aalto University (Helsinki), the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA) on Art, Design and Society among others.


The Typecraft Initiative 

Exhibition:  Atelier MUJI Ginza Tokio

Interview: AIGA Eye on Design: Collaboration, Cultural Nuance + Localism

Exhibition: The Ecology of Creation, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Nippon

Review on Designyatra: The Typecraft Exhibition at MUJI



Academia (curriculum design)

Curricular Strategy, detailed design on course plan, course descriptions and course sequencing for M.Des program in Craft Communication for IICD, Jaipur. 2020

Development of IIAD Communication Design Program (Undergraduate) strategy and curriculum. 2017–18

DESI: Design School India — an articulation of future of design education curricula and strategy in India. MFA Design Thesis at SVA. 2004–05


Academia (visiting faculty)

Typecraft Workshop at UPES, Dehradun.10/21

Package Design. IICD. 09/20

Design History, MIT Pune and IIAD Delhi. 08/20 

Summer-Winter-School (SWS) on Design and the Informal Market, CEPT, Ahmedabad. 12/19.

Typecraft Workshop, NIFT, Gandhinagar. 10/19

Conducted a series of workshops, lectures and talks on Typecraft at ECA, University of Edinburgh. 09/19, 11/18 and 06/16

Typecraft Workshop at IICD, Jaipur. 02/19

Class on Branding. IIAD, Delhi. 11/17

Nirma University, Commencement. 07/17

Workshop on wrapping. Design Akademie Berlin and MIT, Pune. Concept, organization, facilitation and mentorship. 03/2017 

Interlinking Cultures (a class on design, history and anthropology). University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Department of Design and Digital Media. 01–05/2017

International Open Elective: The Moment of Inception: A look at the concept of time through the image. NID Gandhinagar. 01/17 

Professional Practice. NID, Ahmedabad. 9/16

Website Design (UI/UX). Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID), Gandhinagar. 08/16

Workshop on Experiential Type at Typoday 2016, Srishti School of Art & Design, Bangalore. 02/16

International Open Elective on UI/UX Design for the Indian Railways (IRCTC). NID Bangalore. 01/16

Taught design at The Design Village. 9/14-3/15

Taught design at Adianta School for Leadership and Innovation. 8/13-10/15

Photography for designers at IICD, Jaipur. 08/2012

Assessment juror at COFA, University of New South Wales, Sydney and at IICD, Jaipur. 2012



Work Experience

Associate Professor, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES). 09/2020–Present

Cluster Head, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES). 12/2021–08/2022

Founder-Partner, The Typecraft Initiative. 2012–Present
Founder-Partner, Ishan Khosla Design. 2008–2020
Founder-Partner, Fun Bunny Life. 2008–2011


Positions held in the years 2005–2008:
Art Director, And Partners, New York City

Senior Designer, Decker Design, New York City
Designer, Studio Blue, Chicago


Positions held in the year 2000–2002:
Designer, Resonance, New Delhi. 2001–02

Freelance designer. 2000–01


Noon (San Francisco), 2003

Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York), 2003
Cabinet Magazine (Brooklyn), 2004



Honors & Fellowships

    • Invited to Japan for a month-long Asian Curators’ Program along with two other Indian curators. Japan Foundation, Tokyo. 9/13 
    • Invited to the Netherlands in 10/10 and 05/11, by the Dutch Design Fashion Architecture (DDFA) to foster greater design collaborations between the two countries.
    • Finalist, Young Creative Entrepreneur  (YCE)Award. (British Council, New Delhi). 2010
    • Worldstudio Foundation (education) Scholarship based on need and merit, New York. 07/04


Published Papers (academic conferences and books)

    • After Life: Lessons on Product Longevity from the Informal Economy [State-of-the-Art Upcycling Research and Practice. Springer 2021]
    • Skin to Screen: Transforming the indelible markings of godna into a digital typeface, published as part of the conference Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA) [p. 368–376, Art, Design and Society: Global Perspectives by the National Museum, New Delhi. Macmillan, 2021.]
    • Paper selected for the Making Futures conference, Plymouth College of Art. 09/19
    • The Challenge with Multiscriptual Typography in India [p. 125–127, Bi–scriptual: Typography and Graphic Design with Multiple Script Systems;Niggli,2018] ISBN: 978-3-7212-0982-2
    • Typecraft: Handcrafted Beauty in a Functional Typeface. Can decorative ornateness and functionality coexist? Typo Day. 03/18



Published Papers and Articles (general)

    • Exile from the Forest: Craft Collaboration in the Time of COVID. Garland Magazine. 09/21
    • Kutch: A Visual Identity for a Radiant People. Garland Magazine. 06/18
    • Unconscious Design: A Look at the Design of Everyday India. Verve Magazine. 05/17
    • Design Pataka: the Explosion of Design in India, 2010–16. A report commissioned by the Government of the Netherlands and Dutch Culture. 12/16
    • The Kaavad: from devotion to decoration, Garland Magazine. 12/16
    • A Future for Design: Improvisation through the Informal EconomyTake on Art. 01/12
    • A Partnership of Contrasts, Dutch DFA Annual Report, Page 62–64. 01/10
    • DESI: Design School India — an articulation of future of design education in India. MFA Design Thesis. 2004–05




Design Work Published

Selvedge Magazine 2020

Tokyo Type Director’s Club Annual. Vol 32. 2021

Bi–scriptual, Multi-script typography. 2018

Year Book of Type 3. 2018

Tokyo Type Directors Club Annual. Vol 26. 2015

India: Contemporary  Design (V&A), London. 2014

Typographic Universe, Heller/Anderson. 2014

Found Type, by Steve Heller/Gail Anderson. 2013

New Graphic Design: the 100 best contemporary graphic designers. 04/13

Here, There, Everywhere by Droog, Amsterdam. 2014

One by One, by Hesign, Berlin, Beijing. 10/12

Stop, Think, Go, Do by Steve Heller/Mirko Illic. 2012

Asian Graphics Now! Taschen. 2010

Shapes and Symbols, Rockport Publishers. 2010

Logo Lounge 6, Rockport Publishers. 2010



Patents and Design Registrations

Tubular Light (Design Registration): made from terracotta and LED(Design# 277543), 2015


Museum collections

Work submitted for Serendipity Arts Festival collected by the Munjal Foundation. 12/18

Typecraft Initiative (Chittara and Godna): collected by the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan. 02/17

Tal patra chittra (palm leaf craft) for Sangam, collected by The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia. 11/11


Interviews by curators

The Whole Story about the Indian Ocean by Jude van der Merwe. 09/21

AIGA Eye on Design : Collaboration, Cultural Nuance + Localism—A Conversation on Reshaping the Design Monolith, by Somnath Bhatt. 10/20


Awards & Accolades

The Oxford Bookstore, Book Cover Design of the Year Award. 2022

Tokyo TDC Annual Awards, Prize Nominee. 2021 

In-Book Winner, Kyoorius Design Awards, Book Cover, Bhaunri, 09/19 and Branding Diversity: Kutch. 10/18

Winner, D&AD Kyoorius Design Awards, Book Design for Eye Spy Indian Art. 09/16

Winner, Book of the Year, Publishing Next. 09/16

Included in Elle Decor’s Fresh Faces: Top 15 young Indian designers to know right now. 03/16

NYPD Roadblock Bench, shortlisted by the Godrej Design Lab. 12/14

The Asia-Pacific Design Awards (APD). 2013, 2014

Finalist, for the D&AD Kyoorius Design Awards: Design for Identity (Oz Fest) and Design Craft (Chittara Typecraft). 08/13

Graphis, New Talent Design Award AnnualNew York. 2006

Output Foundation Design Award. Germany. 2006


Presentations (conferences and talks)

Design Research Society Talks. 04/2022

Visiting Artist Program in the Wonsook Kim School of Art at Illinois State University. 04/2022

Srishti School of Art and Design . 04/2022

International Visual Methods Conference (IVMC). Department of Applied Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). 12/21

Speaker and Workshop Co-ordinator, Type@Cooper, Typographics Festival. 06/2021

Speaker, Type Drives Communities, Type Directors Club, New York. 05/2021

Speaker at GI Mahotsav at LBSNAA, Mussoorie, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. 03/21

UX India. 12/20

Speaker, Association Typographique Internationale (ATyPI). 10/2020

International Upcycling Symposium 2020: Research and Practice. De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. 09/2020 

Pune Design Festival, 2020

ARCH Academy conference, Jaipur. 2020

Art Education Summit, IGNCA.  12/19

Making Futures conference, Plymouth College of Art. 09/19

Panel discussion on The Object, in the age of reuse by Tiipoi at Delfina Foundation, London Design Festival. 09/19

Speaker at the International Colloquium on Art, Design and Society organized by Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA). 11/18 

TypoDay, Sir J.J. School of Art , Mumbai, 03/18

Delhi Design Festival. 02/18

Moderated a panel discussion on Indic Type Design at Kyoorius Design Yatra, Goa. 10/17

UX India, Bangalore. 10/17

Typo Berlin by Monotype. 05/17

Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland. 05/17

Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm, Sweden. 05/17

The Relevance of Craft in Today’s World, at M.S. University, Baroda as part of the Narrative Design in Craft conference. 02/17

Skin to Screen: the Godna tattoo Typeface, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan. 10/16

Work in Progress for Better Tomorrow, Gujral Foundation, Delhi. 09/16 

Textile & Politics, The Yarn Club, The Lodhi, Delhi. 09/16 

The Everyday in Design. CEPT, Ahmedabad. 09/16

Design x Design, Alliance FranÇaise, New Delhi. Panel Discussion: Global Hulchul: Rebooting Design. 07/16

International Poster Biennale, Academy of Fine Arts Warsaw, Poland. 06/16

Design Akademie Berlin, Germany. 06/16

Work in Progress for Better Tomorrow as part of the Porosity Kabari event, Studio X, Mumbai. 02/16

10 Manifestos to Succeed as a Designer, Srishti School of Art and Design, Bangalore. 09/15

Between Future and Tradition: Creating a New Design Idiom at Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, France. 06/14

Click Next: Conference on Design Thinking at IIT, New Delhi. 02/14

The Japan Foundation on Connections between Design and Traditional Culture. 12/13

The 7th Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, Korea. 10/13

Speaker: Roots, Identity, Modernity, on tradition and the contemporary in the Asian context. 07/13

Semi-Permanent (NZ): Value of Design from Different Cultures, Wellington. 11/12

Participated in a design hypothetical at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. 11/12

The Influencer Conference. Panel discussion: Whether India needs a Design Identity, Mumbai. 10/12

Design x Design, Alliance FranÇaise, New Delhi. 09/12

TypoDay, IDC, IIT, Mumbai, 03/12

COFA, University of NSW, Sydney. 10/12

Spoke at Sangam: the Australia India Design
Platform, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, 10/12

Moderator/Speaker, Multiple Realities: Creating Fruitful Client-Designer Relationships. 12/11



Exhibitions and Workshops 

Permanent Exhibition at the Atmanirbhar Bharat Centre of Design, Red Fort. 2021

Indian Ocean Craft Triennial, Curiosity & Rituals of the Everyday. Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth, Australia. 2021 

Barmer Katab, nominated by TDC Tokyo 21 at the Ginza Graphic Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. 04–05/21

Handcraft for the Digital: Type Design from India. Atelier Muji, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan. 12/19–03/20

Porosity Kabari, Hawkesburry Gallery, Windsor, NSW, Asutralia. 10/19 

Continental Shift: Contemporary art and South Asia, Bunjil Place Gallery, Casey, Australia. 07/19

Ancient Now. [online]. Garland Magazine. 06/19

Bruised: Art Action & Ecology in Asia, RMIT Gallery Melbourne and Climarte. 05/19

Matters of Hand: Craft, Design and Technique. Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa. 12/18

Porosity Kabari, Australia Design Centre, Sydney. 04/18

Crafting Design, Delhi Craft Council. 02/18

Bold, curated by Create Culture at the India Design Pavillion, London Design Festival. 09/17

Porosity Kabari, Nishi Gallery, Canberra, Australia. 06/17

Crossing Visions V: The Ecology of Creation, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan. 02/17

Common Ground, Gallery OED, Kochi. 12/16

Mumbai Design Trail, India Design Forum. 02/16

Porosity Kabari, 3 week workshop + exhibition on design and the informal economy, Studio X, Mumbai. 02/16

Created an installation for the Asian Paints Design Collective at the AP Colour Next show. 02/16 

Illumination the Art of Light, Apparao Gallery at The Lodhi, Delhi. 11–12/15

Fracture: New Directions on Contemporary Textiles, Devi Art Foundation, Gurugram. 01/15

Godrej Design Lab, India Design ID, Design Pavilion. 02/15

Jugalbandi, NID, Ahmedabad. 11/12

Edge Condition, The Spaitalfield’s Gallery, London. 09/12

The Place of Design: An Australian-Indian Dialogue on Encounters between Tradition and Innovation. RMIT University, Design HUB, Melbourne. 10/12 

20 under 35, exhibition on design at the Alliance Francaise, New Delhi. 01/11

Here There & Everywhere, Studio X, Mumbai: workshop/talk/exhibition based on the concept of jugaad in the informal economy and its implications on the future of design. 11/11

Workshop on creating fruitful client-designer relationships. 2011

Design For Basic Needs, Design Education Expert meeting. NID, Ahmedabad. Organized by DutchDFA. 02/11

TypeShop: A workshop on typography and type appreciation. New Delhi. 06/10 

Value Meal: Design and (over)Eating at the Intl’ Design Biennial, Saint-Etienne, France and the Storefront for Architecture, New York. 08/04


Solo Photography Exhibitions:
• India International Center, New Delhi. 2004
• NCPA, Piramal Art Gallery, Mumbai. 2001
• India Habitat Center, New Delhi. 2000
• Nehru Gallery, Mumbai. 2000


 Press Coverage (selected)


Online & offline

The SeniorPerth NowArts Hub Informit 09/21 | Soft Power 05/20 | Design Yatra 02/20 | Harper’s Bazaar 06/18 | Economic Times 05/18 | Architectural Digest 03/18 | Mumbai Mirror02/18 | Hindustan Times 10/17| Creative Review UK 09/17 | It’s Nice That | Better LettersEyeline 09/17 | Houzz.com | Verve 05/17 | Indian Tribal Heritage | Architectural Digest 09/17. 10/16, 01/14, 2011 | Habitus Magazine 07/16 | Trends Magazine 06/16 | Elle Decor 01/15, 2011, 2010 | Elle Decor Online 12/15| Kyoorius 04/13, 01/13| Fortune 01/13 | Casa Viva 03/13 | Mint 02/13 | Platform 2010–2013 | Kyoorius. 2012 | Pool 2011, 2012 | YourStory.in 01/12 | Domus 2011 | ofindianorigin.co.uk 2011 | Conde Nast Traveller (India Special) 2011 | The New York Times online 2009 | Plazm 2008 | Indian Dailies (2000–2017): Mail TodayIndian ExpressThe Hindustan Times and The Times of India Singapore Straits Times 2001| India Today 2001 | Vogue 2001 



NDTV, interview on package design. 2017 | NDTV,  Fracture exhibition at Devi Art Foundation. 2015 | Interview on the Photography Exhibition, “Dreams Explored, Dreams Unfulfilled”. 2001 | CNBC Young Turks on the Godrej Design Lab. 2015 | CNN International, Style South Asia. 2001


Radio & podcast

Podcast on Designed This Way 2018. | BBC World Service: The Arts Hour. 08/13 | ABC Radio Australia. 07/13 and 2012 | AIR (All India Radio), 2001.




T.A.J. Residency/SKE Projects, Bangalore. 09/15

Studio X Mumbai. Porosity Kabari. 02/16