Sarve Bhavanti Sukhinah/ Sarve santu Niramayah
Sarve Bhadrani Pashyanti, Ma Kashchid Dukh Bhag Bhaveta

Let every one without distinction be happy. Let every one be without any ailment. Let every one look like Arya, noble and righteous. Let there be no one to have any share of sorrow or grief.

A Sanskrit shloka from a traditional Indian Inscription with a translation in English

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We need your inputs for this blog to build a body of knowledge that would help in strengthening the Universal Design concept in design education and design practice in the country. We would also like to share your related projects or experiences addressing different needs of the diverse population.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011



The three day Universal Design Workshop has been planned as a culmination of a National Student Design Competition for Design for All/Universal Design that was floated in Oct’2010 by SPA-Bhopal. The institute received tremendous response for this competition from architecture and design schools with about eighty registrations and thirty design entrees. The registered student teams prepared their designs based on the design brief and in consultation with their faculty advisors. The teams were also provided with a list of books, websites and other online resources on universal design to make their challenge an informed attempt. The final evaluation of this competition was coupled with a three days workshop on 3rd, 4th & 5th March 2011. The two best competition entries were awarded and all shortlisted entries were displayed as an exhibition for the professionals for wider dissemination. The workshop was convened by Dr. Rachna Khare and coordinated by Ar. Sandeep Sankat and Ar. Ram Sateesh Pasupuleti.

• Create awareness about ‘Universal Design’ amongst budding architects, planners and design professionals to support social sustainability
• Provide hands-on experience to understand practical application of Universal Design to design Inclusive built-environment for everyone including people with functional limitations.
• Learn about Universal Design education, teaching and practice
• Develop example of a model building through intense Universal Design Education

DAY ONE- 3rd March 2011
Workshop participants registered from various corners of the country to participate in the 3 day Universal Design Workshop organised by Center for Human centric Research, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal. The workshop started with SPA anthem honoured with the presence of Chief-guest Padmabhushan Shree M.N.Buch and Special Guest Dr. Deepankar Banerjee, State Disability Commissioner, Madhya Pradesh. Prof. Ajay Khare, Director School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, Professor Abir Mullick, Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta USA, Dr.Gaurav Raheja from IIT Roorkee, Mr. Pankaj Bajpayee from National Institute of Orthopedically Handicapped, Architect Abhishek Ray and Rohini Rama Krishnan from DRDF were also present on the occasion.

Inaugural Ceremony - Convener Rachna Khare, Special Guest Dr. Deepankar Banerjee, Chief Guest Padmabhushan Shree M.N.Buch, Prof. Ajay Khare, Director, SPA-Bhopal, Professor Abir Mullick (sequentially on podium).

Exhibition: National Student Design Competition for Design for All/Universal Design
The Exhibition of the shortlisted entries of National Student Design Competition had also been inaugurated by the honourable chief guest. Concluding inaugural session Padma Bhushan Shree M.N.Buch and Dr.Deepankar Benarjee briefly expressed their views and visions on the issues and concerns related to Universal Design.

After inaugural session Professor Abir Mullick, an eminent expert of Universal Design from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA delivered keynote address on “Universal Design in Design Teaching / Studio”. Prof. Mullick is a strong supporter of universal design and is internationally known for inclusive designs that deal with social justice, personal empowerment and collective equity. He is one of the authors of the seven principles of universal design.He shared his experience as a teacher, scholar, researcher and designer in his presentation.

Post lunch, expert teams carried out five parallel sessions on Interactive hands-on exercises with the participants, ‘Observation/Analysis/Design’ by Prof. Abir Mullick, ‘Dialogues in the dark’ by Mr. Ahishek Ray and Ms. Rohini Ramkrishnan, ‘Disability in Indian Cinema’ by Mr. Ahishek Ray and Ms. Rohini, ‘Batein-An interactive session with an attempt to understand users’ by Mr. Anil Mudgil, Dr. Rohit Trivedi, Ms Sufia Khan and ‘Simulating Spatial Experiences’ by Prof. Gaurav Raheja. At the end of the day, ‘Khosish’ a movie related to the workshop theme was shown to the participants and the first day workshop program ended with an online interaction with the filmmaker Gulzar.

DAY TWO- 4th March 2011
On the day two of the workshop all the shortlisted teams of National Student Design Competition for Design for All/Universal Design that was floated in Oct’2010 by SPA-Bhopal presented their work in front of the jury members in an open session. The judging panel consists of some strong proponents of universal design and a team representing stake-holders. Following experts of Universal Design in the country and stake-holders were invited to judge the competition.
• Prof. Abir Mullick, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA
• Dr. Ratnesh Kumar, National Institute of Orthopaedically Handicapped, Kolkata
• Dr. Pankaj Bajpai, National Institute of Orthopaedically Handicapped, Kolkata, India
• Dr. Rachna Khare, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India
• Dr. Gaurav Raheja, Department of Architecture and Planning, IIT, Roorkee, India
• Architect Abhishek Ray, Disability Design and Research Foundation, Mumbai, India
Interactive hands-on exercises related to Universal Design by experts
 National Student Design Competition- Presentations before Jury
All the eighteen shortlisted teams sequentially presented their work throughout the day, and it was mesmerizing to see the creative ideas and thoughts from the budding built environment professionals. In the evening a cultural program was conducted by SPA Bhopal along with some volunteers from Aarushi.

DAY THREE- 5th March 2011
On the morning of day three, architect Abhishek Ray made a presentation on the topic ‘Universal Design in Design Practice’. Architect Abhishek Ray is using emerging genre Universal Design in the professional arena to engage with builders, architects, city planners and citizen organizations to create inclusive and user-friendly environments that serve not only the special needs of the disabled but take into account the diverse needs of the general population. In his presentation he shared his views on the subject.

In the next session Dr. Gaurav Raheja presented his views on ‘Universal Design in Indian Context’. Gaurav Raheja Ph.D. from IIT Roorkee in Universal Design Research, he is a member of many important committees on accessibility in the country and is Mphasis Universal Design Award holder in 2010. He shared his knowledge of working with rural Indian population in his presentation.

Before the Valedictory Session, experts and participants had invigorating session in which they shared their understanding and provided their feedback on workshop. This session was coordinated by Dr. Rachna Khare. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a strong supporter of Inclusive Design and coordinating the Center for Human centric Research (CHCR) at School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India. Prior to this she was Fellow, Jamsetji Tata Universal Design Research Chair at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
The Results of the Student Competition was declared in this concluding Valedictory Session and the Certificate of Participants was presented by the experts. First five entries were acknowledged and first and second prize of Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 25,000 was awarded to the winners. The first position was bagged by Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture, Pune and School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal won second position. The program ended with a vote of thanks by the coordinating team from SPA-Bhopal, Dr. Rachna Khare, Ar. Sandeep Sankat and Ar. Ram Sateesh Pasupuleti.