Neema Kudva grew up in India, moving at least ten times before she packed two suitcases and left home (Bangalore at that time) and an architectural practice for graduate school in Berkeley, California. A decade later, when she moved to Ithaca to teach at Cornell’s Department of City and Regional Planning, she was part of a household with two children and everything that goes along with that! She has continued to move, teaching at the Cornell-in-Rome program, commuting for several years between Ithaca and Boulder, Colorado, and helping lead the Nilgiris Field Learning Center, a collaborative partnership between Cornell and the Keystone Foundation in Kotagiri, India.
All that moving around has made Neema intensely aware and deeply appreciative of difference, of the challenge and pleasure of learning to live life in-between, on the margins and in-side. It has left her with an abiding interest in communities and places we build, and the work we must do to create and sustain vital, just, beautiful places. That, and teaching are her passion, even as she makes her way through life enjoying conversation and laughter, sunlight through her window, a walk up the gorge, and takes pleasure in a finely crafted sentence, a photograph that simultaneously captures a moment and the artist’s internal impulse, yummy food, the marvels of the indispensable interweb … and so much more.