Dr. Neeti Sethi

PhD in Art theory, University of New South Wales, Australia

Chair, Programmes
Professor, TSLAS, TIET


Visual art and design, Indigenous arts and crafts, Community Development



A cross-functional thinker and a multi-sectoral performer, Neeti is a seasoned professional and passionate academic. An education-manager, professor and specialist in building transformative experiences, Neeti is a formidable strategic planner, professor, social researcher and community development expert. A sensitive and collaborative leader, she has a deep sense of building inclusivity, empathy and tolerance by inculcating emotional intelligence and design thinking skills. She possesses more than 30 years of experience in the sector, with Indigenous knowledge, arts/crafts/design/culture and liberal arts focused education, as well as community development. With a successful record of accomplishment in focus driven strategic planning and analytical skills spanning across domains, Neeti utilizes her wide inter-cultural experiences in planning and building conceptually strong projects and teaching-learning programs that make her a specialist in creating lifelong learning. An effective visionary and administrator-cum-manager, she is a methodical planner, and strong pedagogue with clear focus on maintaining balance between the academic health, student and faculty recruitment/engagement of a program. She specializes in sparking curiosity and the creative process, igniting imagination, mentoring practitioners in art, design and socio-cultural research.

She is an authority on indigenous creative practices, arts and crafts from India and Australia; socio-cultural environments, arts and cultural hierarchies, politics of representation and Indigenous knowledge have been her research focus. Neeti has extensive ethnographic field research experience and studied Indian, Australian and African traditional creative and cultural practices. She has a special interest in narrative traditions, which she views as Indigenous communication practices. Neeti spent more than 20 years in Higher Education, and 10 or more working with non-profit organizations in the development sector working on social-cultural research, crafts-based livelihood and mobilization training. Neeti teaches UG, PG, PhD and Postdoctoral students; her expertise begins with Foundation Studies and spans across ‘Liberal Arts’, Social Communication and Transcultural Design, with specialization in Art & Design Research, Speculative & Critical Design. A socially sensitive leader, Neeti brings with her extensive international experience in designing, facilitating and managing effective programs/ projects/ courses/training that are experiential, socially relevant and global in perspective. She builds strong relationships and is at equal ease working with academic institutions, museums/galleries, international agencies, corporates and people at the grassroots. A champion of cross-disciplinary perspectives, experiential learning, human-centered design, indigenous knowledge and sustainability, Neeti works well with youth and women and her specialty is in building empathy, nurturing diversity, inclusion, collaboration and tolerance. Both her teaching and management styles are reflective, collaborative and process oriented. She seeks and thrives in stimulating work environments that will allow her to utilize her creative and managerial skills in building cross-disciplinary experiential programs, foundations and community engagement.



  • Santhal Folk Tales – Vivalok Comics, Viveka Foundation, New Delhi, 2002.


  • Frames to Fame – Representing indigenous practices in contemporary times’, Jamini an international arts magazine, Bangladesh, pp. 164-173, 2015/ November
  • Re-imagining Gondwana – Celebrating Cultural Production & Aesthetic Practice’, ArtMonthly Australia, 256 Gondwana, Summer, pp. 5-7, 2012/13.
  • Co-author, Shared History, Convergent Cultures, in “Two Billion Dreams… Celebrating India Africa Friendship”, IANS PUBLISHING, Delhi, 2011.
  • Co-editor, Places & Spaces, Proceedings of the Indo-Ethiopian Symposium on women"s issues organized by the Embassy of India in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2008.
  • Traditions in Transformation: Tribal arts and commercialisation", TAASA Review: The journal of the Asian Arts Society of Australia, Vol.9 no.2, pp.6-8, 2000

Research Articles

  • Paper presentation, ‘Indigenous Arts In Contemporary Places’, at Samaanta a seminar organized in Bangalore in Dec’13, by the Sangam Project, a Australia India Design Platform.
  • Paper presentation, ‘Bollywood: Myths & Reality’, Indo-Ethiopian seminar on Film making, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Paper presentation ‘CultureWatch’, World Summit of Arts & Culture 2006, Newcastle, England
  • Paper presentation on ‘Crafts & Development’ at UNESCO forum on, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2006.
  • Draft paper presented to The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, Research findings of a survey of the Indian visual cultural scenario and national perspectives on cultural development to identify a framework for India’s cultural policy, 2006
  • Paper presentation ‘Creative Expression: Gallery versus Dilli Haat’, Handicrafts Resurgence in India conference organized by Development Commissioner Handicrafts, India and Crafts Council India to commemorate fifty years of handicrafts in India, New Delhi, India, 2002
  • Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation: Beyond Frames, Cultural Development & Indigenous Arts – A Cross-cultural Comparison of Contemporary Practices in Developing, Promoting and Marketing Indigenous Arts, in India and Australia, 2002.

Conferences & Seminars

  • International Conference on Creativity & Cognition in Art & Design, organised by NID & NIMHANS in Bangalore, invited to design and facilitate a workshop on Empathetic Frameworks for artists and designers, 2017.
  • Delegate and organizer, Places & Spaces, Indo-Ethiopian Symposium on women"s issues, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2006.
  • Delegate and organizer, Indo-Ethiopian Seminar on Film making in Ethiopia, 2006.
  • Delegate, World Summit of Arts & Culture 2006, Newcastle, England.
  • Delegate, UNESCO forum on Crafts & Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2006.
  • Participant, All Africa Fibers & Materials Trade Fair, Burkina Faso, invitation of Embassy of France in Ethiopia to present new products developed under Culture Watch"05 Talking Tibebs project, 2006.
  • Participant, Third Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane, Australia, 1996.
  • Participant, Seminar on Asia-Pacific Art, Canberra, Australia, 1996.
  • Participant, Imaginary Places, Australia-India New Horizons, New Delhi, India, 1996
  • Participant, Kaltja / Business, Conference on Aboriginal Art and Marketing, Darwin, Australia, 1996.
  • Participant, International Rock Art Conference organized by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, IGNCA, New Delhi, India, 1995


Consultant, Creative & Technical Advisor, Trainer and Graphic Artist/Designer (2000-2011)

  • Provided L&D consultancy and domain SME (Subject Matter Expertise) to various organizations, research bodies, institutions and other associations across African continent and India.
  • Social and Cultural research, Need Analysis, Project Design to implementation, Trainings and Mobilization workshops in Africa and India
  • Provided new product training to African weavers, designers and handicraft entrepreneurs MINATTOU (Morocco), ILO (Ethiopia), DFID (Ethiopia), Embassy of India (Ethiopia), Cultural Association of Tigray (Ethiopia), Embassy of France (Ethiopia), HIV Prevention program of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Ethiopia), Pact (Ethiopia), Lime Tree (Ethiopia).
  • Organized and curated exhibitions, workshops and livelihood training in Africa and India.
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