Priya Khanchandani specialises in the dissemination of ideas about contemporary Indian design and culture through writing, curating and arts management. In 2015 she was appointed Head of Arts Programmes for the British Council in India. She formed part of a core team that conceived and launched the Year of Culture between the UK and India. She also curated the Reimagine arts programme, working with 22 UK cultural organisations on realising new and exciting work in India. In 2017, she plans to focus on independent writing and curatorial projects in London and New Delhi.
From 2011-2015 Priya worked across the V&A, culminating as the Development Manager responsible for object acquisitions, including a campaign to save the £4 million Wolsey Angels. Her degree in Modern Languages at Cambridge University, specialising in Renaissance Italy, inspired her interest in visual culture. She went on to train in the History of Design in a museum context by completing an MA at the Royal College of Art, where she was awarded a Distinction and the annual Dissertation Prize for her research on urban India now.
Priya has contributed to publications such as Bloomsbury’s Encyclopaedia of Design, Wasafiri, the Independent, Maharam Stories and India’s Sunday Guardian. She has also written frequently for Disegno Magazine since 2011. At the Royal College of Art, she was an Editor of Unmaking Things, a design historical blog featured on the V&A’s website. She has also published short fiction; her stories have appeared in anthologies Five Degrees and Beyond the Border, winning her a nomination for the Asian Writer Award. Priya is a speaker at events and conferences on the topic of Indian design and culture.
Priya’s arts expertise is enhanced by her law diploma and early career as a lawyer at Clifford Chance, from 2005-2011. She has employed these skills in an arts context during her four years as Trustee of the Chisenhale Gallery, an ACE National Portfolio organisation. As the director and founder of the cutting-edge Word Art Collective, supported by the European Commission, Priya curated an exhibition at Arch402, Hoxton, accompanied by a programme of educational events, and edited a catalogue titled Word Art.