Prof. Jim Singh Sandhu
Keynote Speaker
Prof. Simon Bolton
Keynote Speaker
Prof. Steve Rigley
Keynote Speaker
Prof. Abir Mullick
Keynote Speaker
Prof.S Balaram


This is the first international conference exclusively on Universal Design to be held in India.

The objective of the conference is to inform and influence the practicing designers, architects, urban designers, Design teachers and the design students about the importance to learn as well as practice Universal Design to benefit people of India and create a much needed social integration.

The conference will have three sub-themes:

  1. Universal Design Awareness
  2. Universal Design Education
  3. Universal Design Practice

The issues to be addressed are:

  • What is Universal Design in the context of development?
  • What is the role of Universal Design in the specific context of Indian reality?
  • What is the relevance of Universal Design in the Indian Design curriculam?
  • How can the policy makers of “development” be made aware of Universal Design?
  • What can be learnt from the experience of “developed world” by “majority world”?

The conference is jointly organised by by DJAD in partnership with British Council and is a follow up to the Design educators study tour to the UK.
Logo of D J Academy of Design Logo of British Council


Modern Design in India faces three crucial challenges today.

First, the Design profession in India is quite young compared to many other countries of the 'majority world'. It is only recently that India has started realizing the power and the potential of Design. India has a long way to go in terms of making Global and National impact by design as well as in terms of quantity of designers produced by the country.

Second, India is a uniquely pluralistic country that has to battle on multiple fronts while coping with the pressures of 'development' in terms of providing basic necessities to its vast multitudes of people in a democratic way. Design has to operate within this rather complex socio-political and economic context.

Third, Universal design is still a far cry in a country that holds the world's second largest population and the earths' largest number of people who are physically challenged or disadvantaged or both. There is an urgent and crucial need to spread awareness of Universal Design among designers and design students in the country. Only a few Design schools and Architectural institutions in India offer regular courses in Universal Design. India has the world’s richest heritage sites but ironically, almost all of them are not accessible to people who are elderly or challenged. Most public spaces such as schools, shops, parks, theatres, hospitals etc. share the same fate. Residential buildings are even less so. This important side of the human development totally escaped the attention of Designers, Architects, Planners and the Government of this vast and culturally deep-rooted country.

Like many other 'majority world' (or developing) countries, Universal Design principles which apply in the rich/industrial (or developed) countries, will not work in India since the physical, economical, and socio-cultural contexts are totally different.


The Residency Hotel
Avinashi Road,
Coimbatore – 641 018,
Tamil Nadu, India

Map Data
Map data ©2016 Google
Map DataMap data ©2016 Google
Map data ©2016 Google

For places of Interest in and around Coimbatore, please follow the link.

A few recommended hotels to stay in Coimbatore are as follows,


Prof. J Menon
D J Academy of Design
Coimbatore – Pollachi Highway
Othakkalmandapam Post
Coimbatore – 641 032
Tamil Nadu, India



UDAD 2015 Registration is now closed.

Those who have already registered can pay the registration fee at the venue. For Professionals - Rs 750, Academia - Rs 500, Students - Rs 200. Seating is limited to 150.


conference schedule