Anshika Suri CV -

Anshika Suri

Anshika Suri has been working on her doctoral thesis at the Fachbereich Architektur since January 2015. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the Sushant School of Art and Architecture, India, and a Joint European Double Degree Masters (MSc Mundus Urbano) in both International Cooperation in Urban Development from the Technische Universität, Darmstadt, Germany, and International Cooperation in Sustainable Emergency Architecture from the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. After her bachelor’s degree, Anshika worked as a consultant architect for two leading architecture firms in New Delhi, India. During her bachelor’s degree, she worked extensively for 3 years with a squatter resettlement colony in New Delhi and designed an Incremental Housing Prototype for the resettlement colony as a part of her bachelor thesis. She further continued her work on housing and land rights for the urban poor with a feasibility study for an affordable housing project in Ulaanbaator, Mongolia in cooperation with Geoffrey Payne and Associates, London, and The World Bank. She began researching urban infrastructures through a gendered perspective for her master’s thesis and analyzed gender segregation in the urban transport infrastructure in New Delhi. Her PhD project is in line with this continued interest in understanding the urban sanitation challenge being faced by women in informal settlements in the cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. She is part of the graduate program “Urban Infrastructures in Transition: The case of African Cities”, as a scholarship holder from Hans Boeckler Foundation, Germany.

PhD Project

Women and the Urban Sanitation Challenge: Tracing an Intersectional Relationship Africa College, URBANgrad, TU-Darmstadt

The global sanitation crisis is one of the most important developmental challenges in the 21st century with 2.4 billion people still lacking access to improved sanitation facilities (Domestos Unilever et al., 2013). The lack of sanitation has been identified among the main causes of health problems among urban dwellers in African cities (Hendriksen et al., 2011) and the promotion of basic sanitation is largely focused on hygiene awareness, health and environmental benefits. While access to sanitation is currently measured globally by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme through the targets set by the Millennium Development Goals using internationally agreed definitions for “improved sanitation”, this monitoring currently does not provide a breakdown of access for men and women separately. However, poor sanitation significantly impacts the safety, well-being and educational prospects of women. Previous studies reveal that one in three women still lack access to safe toilets worldwide and risk shame, health issues, indignity, harassment and even attack because of inadequate sanitary infrastructure (Domestos Unilever et al., 2013; Abrahams et al., 2006; Joshi et al., 2011,Reddy & Snehalatha, 2011: 400).Earlier research emphasizes the vulnerability of women to physical and sexual violence if they are forced to wait until early morning or late evenings to look for a secluded place to defecate (Reddy & Snehalatha, 2011:390; Domestos Unilever et al., 2013). This subset of literature exposes the oppressive relationship between women and sanitation. Literature additionally suggests that the lack of sanitation considerably contributes to poverty (Hendriksen et al., 2011; Desai et al., 2014) with the casting out of many sites, groups and practices of the urban poor as unsanitary (Desai et al., 2014; Allen et al., 2006). This helps to draw attention towards women who stand on an intersection of multiple categories such as inadequate access to sanitation infrastructure, poverty and gender violence. By analyzing the existing sanitation infrastructure through the lens of this intersectionality, the objective of the study is to explore and understand the gender inequality mediated by existing arrangements in the provision of sanitation services, the access to them, the use of services and by the technological design of sanitation infrastructure.

University Studies and Degrees

Since 01/2015 Doctoral Studies(Fachbereich Architektur, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany)
10/2013-07/2014 M.Sc International Cooperation in Sustainable Emergency Architecture(Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
10/2012-07/2013 M.Sc International Cooperation in Urban Development(Fachbereich Architektur, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
07/2006-06/2011 Bachelor of Architecture(Sushant School of Art and Architecture, GGISPU, New Delhi, India)

Professional Experiences

Since 10/2014 English Language Writing Advisor, The Writing Centre, Institute for Language and Literature, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
Since 04/2014 Graduate Student Intern – Mundus Urbano Programme, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
04/2014-07/2014 Student Intern for Professor in Gender and Technology, Department of Spatial and Infrastructure Planning, IWAR, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
07/2013-09/2013 Intern – Geoffrey Payne and Associates, London, UK, for a feasibility study for The World Bank
01/2012-07/2012 Consultant Architect – Kothari Associates Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai, India
07/2011-12/2011 Junior Architect – Architron Group, Gurgaon, India
07/2009-11/2009 Architecture Intern – Bhargava Ajay & Associates, New Delhi, India

Scholarships and Awards

01/2015 – present Hans Boeckler Foundation | PhD Fellowship

Talks and Conferences

  • International Gender and STEM Conference 2014 – Research Project Proposal – Gender Attitudes in German Technical Universities
  • Development Induced Displacement and Resettlement: Bridging Research and Practice, Filling the Knowledge Gaps – Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom) 2013- Participant and M.Sc. Mundus Urbano representative


  • Writing Centre, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • Council of Architecture (COA), India
  • SSAA Alumni Association
  • AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in development)