Gail is a design researcher. Her research addresses social challenges through participatory and co-design methods with citizens and communities.
Gail works in the Inclusive Design for Social Impact space within the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. She is also co-lead, with Professor Jo-Anne Bichard, of the Public Toilets Research Unit (PTRU), which undertakes inclusive and people-centred design research to improve toilet provision for all.
Gail has worked at HHCD for over 10 years. As well as her own research, she supervises research associate projects and provides tutoring for RCA students. Since 2020 she has led the Helen Hamlyn Design Awards for outstanding RCA graduate projects that improve people’s lives.
Gail graduated from RCA in 2007 (MA Industrial Design Engineering) and has professional experience in wayfinding, product and industrial design. Before this, she worked internationally as a mechanical engineer.
Gail is co-director of Public Convenience, a design and access consultancy for non-domestic toilets. Public Convenience is run as a social enterprise. It was set up in 2017 by Gail, Jo-Anne Bichard and software developers Neontribe as an RCA spin-out company, supported by InnovationRCA, for the long-term management of The Great British Public Toilet Map.
The Great British Public Toilet Map, Nominet Trust (2013)
The Great British Public Toilet Map, Open Data Institute (2016)
BSI Standards Makers Award ‘Guidance on Safe Working during the COVID-19 pandemic’ (advisory panel member), 2020
Finalist (Outstanding Impact in Society), The Great British Public Toilet Map, ESRC Impact Awards 2016
Finalist (Digital Health), The Great British Public Toilet Map, AbilityNet Tech for Good Awards 2016
Runner-up, The Great British Public Toilet Map, TSO Open.Up Awards 2010
Winner, Sat-Lav, Westminster Innovate 2007
Current and recent projects
Global Healthcare Index (2018-19): Developing a Global Healthcare Index to measure the future-readiness of global cities to meet healthcare challenges, Funder: WSP
Our Stockwell (2018–19): Tackling childhood obesity using a community co-design methodology for place-based design research, Funder: Hyde Foundation & Battersea Power Station Foundation
GATEway (2015–17): How the design of autonomous vehicles responds to people’s hopes and fears for a more accessible future city. Funder: InnovateUK
Workplace & Wellbeing (2016): Can participation in the design of the workplace increase employee wellbeing? Partner: Gensler; Funders: Shell, RBS, Bupa, Kinnarps, Milliken
The Great British Public Toilet Map (2014, 2016): Building a national dataset for publicly accessible toilets (toiletmap.org.uk), Funder: Nominet Trust (2014), Open Data Institute (2016)
Creative Citizens (2012–14): How can we use digital media to creatively engage people in community-led design? Funder: AHRC
Out-of-Order[Robust Accessible Toilets (2012) / Tackling Ageing Continence through Theory, Tools and Technology (2009-2012)]: How can we design better, more inclusive public toilets? Funder: ESRC, New Dynamics of Ageing
Publications, exhibitions, other outcomes
Ramster, G. and Keren, C., (in press). Designing with Communities: Lesson learnt from the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art, London.
Ivanova, N., Gheerawo, R., Poggi, J., Gadzheva, I and Ramster, G. (2020). Towards a Gold Standard Operations Control Centre (OCC): applying Creative Leadership principles in the re-design of an OCC at a leading international airline, Design Management Proceedings 2020 (1). pp. 273-291.
Ramster, G., Greed, C. and Bichard, J., (2018). How Inclusion can Exclude: The Case of Public Toilet Provision for Women Built Environment, 44(1). pp. 91-115.
Harrow, D., Gheerawo, R., Phillips, D. and Ramster, G., (2018). Understanding how attitudes towards autonomous vehicles can shape the design of cities. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Municipal Engineer, 171(1). pp. 31-40.
Keren, C., Ramster, G. and Spencer, J., (2018). Tackling childhood obesity: a case for hyperlocal inclusive design with the Stockwell Estate in London, Cities: Public Health, Salus.
Myerson, J. and Ramster, G., (2017). Workplace health and wellbeing: can greater design participation provide a cure? In: Cooper, R and Tsekleves, E, (eds.) Design for Health (Design for Social Responsibility), Routledge.
Myerson, J., Ramster, G. and Thomson, A., (2017). Workplace & Wellbeing: developing a practical framework for workplace design to affect employee wellbeing, Royal College of Art, London.
Alexiou, K., Agusita, E., Alevizou, G., Chapain, C., Greene, C., Harte, D., Ramster, G. and Zamenopoulos, T., (2015). Asset mapping and civic creativity in Hargreaves, I & Hartley, J (Eds) The Creative Citizen Unbound. Policy Press.
Knight, G & Bichard, J (2011). Publicly accessible toilets: An inclusive design guide. Royal College of Art, London.
2020, Advisory Group Member, BSI (British Standards)