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Rama Gheerawo

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  • Rama Gheerawo
  • Area

    The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design

    Role

    Director, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and Reader in Inclusive Design

  • Rama Gheerawo is Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the RCA Reader in Inclusive Design. With nearly two decades in the design industry, his interest is in people-centred and socially inclusive design. He leads the Centre's Age & Ability research lab which creates design that improves the lives of people of all ages and abilities. He is in demand as a keynote speaker internationally and writes, curates exhibitions and runs workshops for audiences that range from students to business executives to civil servants. Knowledge transfer to business is central to his work, building on a track record of over 150 collaborative projects with the Centre involving organisations such as Gov.UK, Samsung and Toyota. Rama has published widely in both academic and trade press including Volume magazine, New Design and the Journal of Design Philosophy Papers. He has guest edited a number of journals, appeared on juries and advisory boards representing design, and is a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Peer Review College. He is a Fellow of both the Royal College of Art and the Royal Society of Arts.

  • Biography

  • Rama has experience in the creative industry having worked in the automotive, product design and multimedia design sectors. He writes, publishes, lectures and curates exhibitions on design to audiences that include students, academics, designers, industry and government.

    Rama also concentrates on creating effective mechanisms for knowledge transfer and has run workshops at universities, design organisations and corporations in venues across the world, including California and China. As a keynote speaker, he advocates the benefits of design and a more socially-inclusive approach.

    He believes that good design can significantly improve and transform people's lives and is interested in evolving the role of designers to involve people in the creative process as active contributors and equal voices in the process.

    Rama has a BA in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London and an MA in Industrial Design Engineering from the RCA, for which he won a scholarship from the Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 1851. He was a founding member of the Centre at its inception in 1999 and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 2005.

    He leads the Centre's Age & Ability research lab, where the focus is on enabling people of all ages and abilities to have greater choice and independence in their daily lives. Transport, technology and design for neuro-diversity are key areas. He is keen to expand the role of inclusive design, looking at how it can become more business-ready and more engaged with current social issues.

    Knowledge transfer to business is delivered to companies across the globe through executive education modules that Rama has created. Supporting material includes publications and presentations. This strand of research aims to engage people involved in specifying, managing or practising design. The work builds on leading the Research Associates Programme where over 120 projects have been successfully completed with over 95 organisations including: Samsung; Toyota; Intel; B&Q; the NHS and GlaxoSmithKline.

    Rama sits on review committees for a number of conferences and is a reviewer of submissions for the UK Research Councils. He is on the Approval Committee for Age UK's kitemark and is a UK Director for the EIDD Design for All European network.

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  • External collaborations

  • Fellow: the Royal College of Art
    Freeman: the Worshipful Company of Carmen and Reader for RCA Vehicle Design
    Deputy Chair: Paper Review Committee, Include conference series
    Member: Approval committee, AgeOK kite mark run by Engage, the business network for Age UK
    Jury Member: Inclusive Design Awards, Design for All Foundation
    UK Director: EIDD Design for All Europe
    Internal Examiner: RCA Vehicle Design



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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Books
    Gheerawo, R (ed) (2014) ‘INVENTory: 7 years, 7 collaborative design projects’. BlackBerry and The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, London

    Eikhaug, O. & Gheerawo, R. (eds) (2010) Innovating with People: the Business of Inclusive Design, Norwegian Design Council, Norway

    Kunur, M. & Gheerawo, R. (2007) Connections: Mobility, Ageing and Independence, Helen Hamlyn Centre, RCA, London


    Book Chapters
    Gheerawo, R. & Donahue S. (2011) 'On the Edges of Ageing' Chapter in Volume 29, pp100-103, Stichting Archis, Netherlands, ISBN 09789077966297

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'The Designer's Tale' in The New Millennium Tales, Involve Millennium, Shipley, UK. ISBN 978-1-908616-02-9

    Bichard, J. & Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'The Designer as Ethnographer: Practical Projects from Industry' in Design Anthropology: Object Culture in the 21st Century' SpringerWien New York, USA

    Vavik, T. & Gheerawo R. (2009) 'The Challenges in Universal Design' in Inclusive Buildings, Products & Services', Tapir Academic Press, Norway. pp4-24

    Gheerawo, R. (2007) 'Five Stages to Innovation: Delivering Inclusive Design' in Gheerawo, R. (ed.) Vital Signs, Helen Hamlyn Centre, London

    Gheerawo, R. (2006) 'Two Worlds Collide: Innovation through Inclusive Design' in Human Frame, Helen Hamlyn Centre, London

    Gheerawo, R. & Donahue, S. (2004) 'Introducing User-centred Design Methods into Design Education' in Designing a More Inclusive World', Keates, S., Clarkson, PJ., Langdon, P. & Robinson, P. (eds.) Springer-Verlag, London. pp21-30

    Gheerawo, R. & Lebbon, C. (2002) 'Inclusive Design: Developing Theory through Practice' in Designing a More Inclusive World, Keates, S., Langdon, P., Clarkson, PJ. & Robinson, P. (eds.) Springer-Verlag, London. pp43-52

    Gheerawo, R. & Lebbon, C. (2002) 'Towards a Better World' in Design and Emotion, McDonagh, D., Hekkert, P., Gyi, D. & von Erp. J, (eds.) Taylor & Francis, London


    Peer-reviewed Journals

    Guest editor for the following journals:
    (2013) The Design Journal
    (2012) Journal of Design Philosophy Papers
    (2011) Journal of Design Philosophy Papers
    (2010): The Journal of Usability Studies

    Co-authored chapters:
    Donahue, S., Gheerawo, R., & Willis, AM. (eds) (2012) 'Design Beyond Designers' second special edition, Journal of Design Philosophy Papers

    Donahue, S., Gheerawo, R., & Willis, AM. (eds) (2012) 'Design Beyond Designers', Editorial, 1st special edition, Journal of Design Philosophy Papers

    Liem, A., Swierenga, S. & Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'Encompassing Universal Design Approach in ICT' in The Journal of Usability Studies, Vol. 5, Issue 4, pp129-131, August 2010

    Gheerawo, R. & Bichard, J. (2008) 'Living Independently: Accessing Aspirations for Kitchen Design' in Access by Design: The Journal of the Centre for Accessible Environments, Issue 114 Spring 2008


    Videos

    Here is a selection of videos featuring Rama Gheerawo:



    Conference Proceedings (selected)
    Lockton, D., Bowden, F., Brass, C. & Gheerawo, R. (2014) `Powerchord: Towards ambient appliance-level electricity use feedback through real-time sonification', at UCAmI 2014: 8th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing & Ambient Intelligence, Belfast, 2-5 December 2014

    Gaudion, K. (2013) Poster and Presentation, 10th Autism-Europe International Congress, Budapest, Hungary 

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) ‘Universal Design Universal Challenges: Progressing People-centred Design in the 21st Century’, 4th International Conference for Universal Design, IAUD, Fukuoka, Japan

    Timlin, G. & Gheerawo, R. (2012) ‘Design and Dementia: Using Universal Design processes to Improve Service and Design Innovation’ in proceedings for the 4th International Conference for Universal Design, IAUD, Fukuoka, Japan

    Gheerawo, R., Bichard, J., Gaggero, C., Muhammad, Y. & Westaway, A. (2010) 'Digital Barriers: Making Technology Work for People' in proceedings for the 3rd International Conference for Universal Design, IAUD, Hamamatsu, Japan, October 2010

    Gheerawo, R. & Donahue, S. (2010) 'Social Sustainability: The Challenges Facing Universal Design' in proceedings for the 3rd International Conference for Universal Design, IAUD, Hamamatsu, Japan, October 2010

    Eihaug, O. & Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'Innovation for All - Working with Government to Affect Business' in proceedings for the 3rd International Conference for Universal Design, IAUD, Hamamatsu, Japan, October 2010

    Gheerawo, R. & Donahue, S. (2009) 'Inclusive Design 2.0 - Evolving the Approach and Meeting New Challenges' in proceedings for Include 2009, Helen Hamlyn Centre, London, UK, April 2009

    Eihaug, O., Stavik, J., Storheil, S. & Gheerawo, R. (2009) 'Inclusive Norway - building an approach through design innovation with industry' in proceedings for Include 2009, Helen Hamlyn Centre, London, UK, April 2009

    Gheerawo, R. & Bichard, J. (2008) 'Accessing Aspirations - Inspirational Kitchen and Bathroom Design for Older People' Abstract published in International Federation of Ageing 9th Global Conference ' Ageing & Design' Montreal 4-7 September

    McGinley, C., Gheerawo, R. & Slater, A. (2008) 'Enlightened: Designing domestic lighting for older people' Abstract published in International Federation of Ageing 9th Global Conference ' Ageing & Design' Montreal 4-7 September

    Gheerawo, R. & Matthews, E. (2008) 'Academia and industry: managing knowledge transfer to improve patient safety' in proceedings, International DMI Education Conference,14-15 April, Cergy-Pointoise, France

    Gheerawo, R. & Bound, J. (2007) 'Ideas and innovations: How 'Trend surfing' Can Become a Powerful Tool in Design' Abstract published in Future Trends Conference, Miami 11-14 November 2007

    Hirai, Y., Ohnuki, K., Takeoka, A., Kitamura, S. & Gheerawo, R. (2007) 'Evaluation of Qualitative Design Tool Case Study: Image Card' Include 2007, RCA, London

    Kecman, M., Gheerawo, R. & Scott, R. (2007) 'Generation Game: Making Wi-Fi devices more inclusive' Include 2007, RCA, London

    Gheerawo, R., Kunur, M. & Harrow, D. (2006) 'Beyond Product Design: User-centred design methods for vehicle designers', proceedings of 3rd Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology, Clarkson, PJ., Langdon, P., Robinson, P. & Goodman, J. (eds.) ISSN: 0963-5432 pp. 3-12

    Gheerawo, R. & Myerson, J. (2006) 'Living Independently - Inspirational Kitchen and Bathroom Design for Older People', 2nd Conference of International Association for Universal Design (IAUD), Kyoto, Japan (won Best Paper Award)

    Gheerawo, R. & Donahue, S. (2005) 'Beyond Product Design: Inclusive design in education', Include 2005, RCA, London

    Gheerawo, R., Lebbon, C. & Donahue, S. (2004) 'Inclusive Design in Practice: Working with students and educators', Designing for the 21st Century III Adaptive Environments International Conference on Universal Design, Boston, USA

    Gheerawo, R. & Cassim, J. (2003) 'Education and Practice of Inclusive Design at Student Level', Include 2003, RCA, London

    Coleman, R. & Gheerawo, R. (2002) 'Working with Students and Critical Users to Develop Inclusive/Universal Design Concepts and Solutions', 1st Conference of International Association for Universal Design (IAUD), Yokohama, Japan


    Articles
    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'The Designer's Tale' in The New Millennium Tales, Involve Millennium, Shipley, UK. ISBN 978-1-908616-02-9

    Gheerawo, R. & Donahue S. (2011) 'On the Edges of Ageing' Chapter in Volume 29, pp. 100-103, Stichting Archis, Netherlands, ISBN 09789077966297

    Donahue, S., Gheerawo, R., & Willis, AM. (eds) (2011) 'Beyond Progressive Design Part 1', Editorial, 1st special edition, Journal of Design Philosophy Papers, issue 3

    Gheerawo, R. & Bichard J. (2011) 'Support Strategy', New Design, issue 87, pp32-37

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'Human-Centered Design, i-do workshop: Supporting Ageing with Design', Hong Kong Polytechnic University, pp24-27

    Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'Smart Talking, in Innovate magazine, InnovationRCA. London, Issue 7, pp12-13

    Gheerawo, R. & Myerson, J. (eds) (2008) 'Living Proof', October edition of newsletter, Design for All Institute, India, Vol.3, No.10

    Gheerawo, R. (2008) 'Cutting Edge', in Innovate magazine, InnovationRCA. London, Issue 5, pp22-23

    Gheerawo R. (2007) 'Pensioner Power: the Rise of the Silver Shopper', in Packaging Professional magazine 

    Keynote and Invited Presentations
    Gheerawo, R. (2013) ‘User-centred Design’, Inclusive Design, King Fahd University, Saudi Arabia

    Gheerawo, R. (2013) ‘Alternative perspectives: Building for remaining abilities not disabled people’, Inclusive Design, Accessibility and Sustainability in Adaptive Architecture, Naidex, UK

    Gheerawo, R. (2013) ‘Design Thinking and People-centred Innovation’, Inclusive Design Workshop, Norwegian Design Council, Kristiansand, Norway  

    Gheerawo, R. (2013) ‘Making a Difference: Building and Age-Inclusive Attitude’, launch event, Channel 4, Mature Marketing Association, London  

    Gheerawo, R. (2013) 'A People-centred Approach to Design', Life Course Development, Birkbeck College, May

    Gheerawo, R. (2013) 'From 3 to 30', Ageing better by Design - Design Council Special Panel, Cheltenham Design Festival, April

    Gheerawo, R. (2013) 'Design for Later Life: A People-centred Approach', New Dynamics of Ageing, Open University, January

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'From 3 to 30: Design and Ageing 2030', Designing 2030 for the over 60s, Design Challenge Knowledge Week, Design Research Institute, RMIT, December

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'From 3 to 30: Design and Ageing in the 21st Century', Ageing 2.0, Google London, November

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'Design, Health and Patient Safety: A people-centred Approach to Innovation', Design medical - Inventer les modes de soins de demain, Cite Du Design, November

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'Universal Design, Universal Challenges: Progressing People-centred Design in the 21st Century', the 4th International Conference for Universal Design, IAUD, Fukuoka, Japan, October

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'Ageing and Design: Global Business Perspectives', Knowledge of Design Week, Hong Kong Design Centre, June

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'The Social Value of Inclusive Design', European Business Workshops on Inclusive Design, Norwegian Design Council, June

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'Living Environments: Housing and Products for All' IFA 11th Global Conference on Ageing, International Federation of Ageing, Prague, May

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'Connected Communities: Inclusive Digital Products and Services' Cities for All conference, Ornamo, Helsinki, May

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'The Problem Comes First' Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities, Leeds University, May

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'Inclusive Design: A People-centred Approach, Norwegian Design Council, Oslo, Norway, March

    Gheerawo, R. (2012) 'Inclusive Design: Teaching the Teachers', KHIO Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Oslo, Norway, January

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'Design and Health', Living Labs Global, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, November 2011

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'Design London Story, Design as Service conference, Dutch Design Week, TU Delft Conference Centre, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, October

    Gheerawo, R. and Bichard, J. (2011) 'Using Design Ethnography', Design & Innovation conference, Moholy-Nagy University, Hungary, October

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'Social Concerns: A People-centred Approach to Service Architecture', Service Architecture Competition Launch, City of Marjaa-Vantaa, Finland, September

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'The Role of Ethnographical Research in Design Thinking', Design Thinking Lab 2011, British Higher School of Design, Moscow, Russia, July

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'Consumer Matters: A People-centred Approach to Design', Knowledge of Design Week, Hong Kong Design Centre, Hong Kong, China

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) Ageing with Panache', RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), London, UK, June

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'The Role of Ethnographical Research in Design Thinking', Design Thinking Lab 2011, British Higher School of Design, Moscow, Russia

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) On the Move: How good Mobility can create Community', 2nd International Conference Cities For All - Tallinn For All, Estonian Designers Association, Tallinn, Estonia, May

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'The Older Consumer - the Business Case for Inclusive Design', Business of Ageing conference, Aging Well Network, Dublin, Ireland, March

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'Closer to the Consumer: a People-centred Design Approach', Engage Seminar, AgeUK, London, UK, January

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'Getting Closer to Your Customer', INDM Seminar, Norwegian Design Council, Oslo, Norway, May

    Gheerawo, R. (2011) 'Introducing Inclusive Design: a People-centred Design Approach', Student workshop, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway, January

    Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'Social Concerns: Getting Closer to your Consumer', Research Symposium, Research In Motion, Waterloo, Canada, December 2010

    Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'Making Technology Work for Older People', WorkTech, Unwired, London, UK, November

    Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'Closer to the Consumer: a Competitive Edge Through Design', lecture tour, Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Design Council, Bergen and Trondheim, Norway, November

    Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'A People-centred Approach to Design', Culminatum Innovation and Design London, Helsinki, Finland, November

    Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'Designing to Make a Difference', Barcelona Design Week, Barcelona Centre de Disseny, Barcelona, Spain, October

    Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'Inclusive Design and Industry', Design for Humanity conference, Design information Centre, Riga, Latvia, October

    Gheerawo, R. (2010) 'Design to Make a Difference: An Inclusive Approach', ReD conference, Hong Kong Design Centre, Hong Kong, China, June

    Gheerawo, R. (2009) 'A People-centred Approach to Design', BSI Consumer & Public Interest Network, British Standards Institute, London, UK, December

    Gheerawo, R. (2009) 'Living Inclusively: Design for Aspiration', 1st International Congress on Design For All, Fundación ONCE, Malaga, Spain, October

    Gheerawo, R. (2009) 'The Art of Research', ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, USA, May

    Gheerawo, R. (2009) 'Working with the Consumer to Innovate', Danish Technological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark, April

    Gheerawo, R. (2008) 'Social Concerns: Centring your Design Approach around People', Institute for Human Centered Design, Boston, USA, February    
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