Friday 13 March 2015 - 00:00 to Saturday 14 March 2015 - 00:00
Hotel Residency, Coimbatore


This is the first design conference to be held in India that will focus exclusively on universal design. The conference aims to redefine universal design within the context of 'development'. Within India there is a challenge to provide basic necessities to vast multitudes of people in a democratic way within a complex socio-political and economic context. Universal design is still a far cry in a country that holds the world’s second largest population and the earth’s largest number of people who are disabled or disadvantaged or both. India has some of the world’s richest heritage sites but ironically, almost all of them are not accessible to people who are old or disabled. This is also true of most public spaces such as schools, shops, parks, theatres, hospitals etc. Residential houses even less so. This important aspect of development has thus far escaped the attention of designers, architects, planners and the government.

There is an urgent and crucial need to spread awareness of universal design among the designers and design students in the country. Only a few design schools and architectural institutions in India offer regular courses in universal design. 

Furthermore, universal design principles that apply in the rich /industrial (or developed) countries, may not be applicable to India given the differences in physical, economical, and socio-cultural contexts.

This conference has been organised by D J Academy of Design in partnership with the British Council.

Aims and objectives

The objective of the conference is to inform and influence practising designers, architects, urban planners, design teachers and students about the importance of learning and practising universal design.

The issues to be addressed are: 

  • What is universal design in the context of real world development?
  • Is integrated inclusiveness possible? How?
  • What is the role of universal design in the context of India?
  • What is the way universal design could be made part of the Indian design curriculum?
  • How can the policy-makers be made aware of universal design?
  • How can India draw on international experience?


Professor Simon Bolton, Birmingham City University, UK

Professor Steve Rigley, Glasgow School of Art, UK

Professor Abir Mullick, Navrachana University, India

Professor Jim Singh Sandhu, UK

Professor S Balaram, DJ Academy of Design, India 

How to register

Participation is restricted to 150 delegates on a first-come first-served basis.

To register your participation, please log on to

Registration fees:

Professionals: Rs. 750

Academia: Rs. 500

Students: Rs. 200     


For further information please contact J. Menon on:


Tel: +91-0422-261048 / 2610333

Mobile: +91-9840-077916

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