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Themes: Inclusive Design

GDI Hub’s Inclusive Design team welcomes Shivani Gupta as they grow their presence in Asia and the Pacific Region

A white man in a blue shirt smiling into the camera

Iain McKinnon

CEO and co-founder

Shivani Gupta photographed at an event, smiling to camera - Shivani is using a wheelchair in front of a n instilation wall.

GDI Hub’s Inclusive Design team continues to grow and is pleased to welcome Shivani Gupta as Senior Inclusive Design Manager. Based in India, Shivani brings a wealth of inclusive design experience as well as significant regional knowledge from across Asia and the Pacific where GDI Hub is seeing an increase in work and opportunity.

Shivani, herself disabled, has worked on inclusive design and accessibility for over 25 years as a freelance consultant and most recently employed by CBM. Her skills as an inclusive design professional, advocate and trainer - working closely with OPD's across the Asia region and beyond - complements the existing Inclusive Design team as they expand, building on the great work already taking place.

On joining GDI Hub and taking up her new role, Shivani said:

Asia and the Pacific is where maximum development is happening and the region where the majority of persons with disabilities live. Therefore, ensuring all development considers inclusive design is key to ensuring no one is left behind. As a part of GDI Hub’s Inclusive Design team, I have the opportunity to work towards that goal.”

“I’m delighted to welcome Shivani to my team and the wider GDI Hub family. The need and opportunity for inclusive development in Asia is clear, especially around our work on Inclusive and Resilient Cities given the climate vulnerability of the region. It’s also a region where the team has been steadily building an impressive portfolio of work and I look forward to building on that with Shivani joining.”

Director of Inclusive Design, Iain McKinnon

The Inclusive Design team’s current portfolio in Asia includes:

  • Through the UK Aid funded AT2030 programme, we have delivered three case studies on Inclusive Cities in Asia, including Ulaanbaatar, Varanasi and Surakarta building partnerships with local OPDs and NGOs.
  • Supporting the creation of the ‘Inclusive Cities Urban Area Guidelines’ for Georgia and the Central and West Asia region, published by Asian Development Bank (ADB) in March 2022.
  • Providing training to ADB project managers on Inclusive Design and producing a bespoke, interactive eLearning course rolled out to all staff in December 2022
  • Researching the impacts of climate change on disabled people living in Indonesia, with our partners Kota Kita, producing this short film that was premiered at COP26 in November 2021
  • Providing inclusive design advice to live projects, including affordable housing and informal settlement improvement projects funded by ADB, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • Partnered with India’s National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) on our Varanasi AT2030 case study and supported them in subsequent initiatives sharing our inclusive design and research knowledge and experience.
  • Supporting students on UCL’s MSc in Social Development Practice on Overseas Practice Engagement fieldwork in Indonesia, looking at inclusive public spaces.
  • Published academic research such as a journal paper looking at inclusive public space in Mongolia, India, Indonesia and Kenya.

GDI Hub’s Inclusive Design team focus on inclusive design of the built environment and increasingly disability inclusive, climate-resilient cities in developing countries. We work collaboratively with local partners, the global inclusive design community and organisations of persons with disabilities to drive research and innovation, creating platforms for engagement with decision makers at all levels to implement change.

To find out more about our approach, check out our newly published Inclusive Design Strategy.

Shivani will strengthen the Inclusive Design team across the existing portfolio while simultaneously growing the team’s offer across Asia through new business development and partnerships. If you are working in Asia and need inclusive design support, please do get in touch. Shivani will also be representing GDI Hub, speaking at the forthcoming GATEC conference in person, in Delhi on the 23-25 March 2023.