Dharwadker holds a Master in Design Studies degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University. Her research and design projects focus on issues of urbanization, design representation, and new methods of cartography. She has a specific interest in the modernist movement, particularly in the overlaps between literature and architecture. While her undergraduate work focuses on the design of buildings and small-scale urban projects, her graduate and professional work considers issues of globalization, materiality, and the presence of history in urban form, with an emphasis on Indian cities.
She is originally from Chicago, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the Illinois School of Architecture and the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois. Previously, she was an Adjunct Faculty member at the Boston Architectural College.
She is the founder of Chicago Design Office and editor of Transect, a journal of design criticism. Her previous architectural practice experience includes offices in Chicago, Boston, Toronto, and Madison.