An architect and urban designer, Sheila holds the distinction of being the first woman in India to have started and operated her own architectural firm. She founded Shilpa Architects in Chennai in 1979, and has designed over 1000 completed architectural projects in her career spanning close to four decades. Acknowledged as one of the leading design thinkers across the globe, she served on the World Economic Forum’s 2011 Global Agenda Council on Design Innovation, a team of international experts in Design and Innovation, to formulate the Reciprocal Design Index – a sustainability matrix linking the parameters and metrics of sustainable design in terms of environmental, sociologic, and economic impact. She currently serves on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Role of Arts in Society, in recognition of her signature works that feature art, culture and heritage. She is credited with being the founding practitioner-researcher who defined and identified the field of ‘Spaciology’, a discipline that recognizes the impact of space design and planning on society, and for leading the Infrastructure Sustainability efforts for the 2012 London Olympics. She was conferred with the Honorable Architect Award by the Indian Institute of Architects, and was also featured in the 50 most influential names in Architecture and Design in 2015 by Architectural Digest. She has been a Bharatnatyam dancer, sculptor, musician, and a passionate patron of the Arts, and credits Dance as an instrumental source of inspiration for her approach to architecture.