Universal Design at Heritage Site (Sanchi)

Universal Design at Heritage Site (Sanchi)

Aditya Chaurasia
Bachelor of Architecture, V Year

A group of students undertook this innovative project under Design Innovation Center and Center for Human Centric Research by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) at School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal. The project aims to assess accessibility of various historic cities, heritage sites and monuments in the country and to provide maximum possible solutions to ensure universal accessibility of these sites.

Under its project Design Innovation Centre (DIC), MHRD sought to inculcate design thinking among students and providing innovations to end users through distribution and marketing channels. The innovations would have to be in the form of products or processes which would significantly impact society at large.

Under this project, SPA, Delhi, was a DIC hub institute with a focus on Architecture and Planning and SPA, Bhopal, is one of three spoke institutes. Each spoke institute has their own thrust areas of work within a broad domain. The two thrust themes of SPA, Bhopal, were "Universal Design Innovation for Heritage" and "Shelter for All". Various student activities such as electives, projects, research work addressing aspects of innovation are included in the ambit of DIC.

The objective of Design Innovation Centre project is to encourage student-led projects (mentored by faculty) to culminate in form of specific products or processes, which can be up-scaled and disseminated/marketed subsequently. Thus, each theme intends to undertake research projects to help develop these products by December 2018.

Under this project, students of Amity University, Gwalior, seek to have a web-based application to help owners and service providers to assess accessibility in their respective heritage sites and devise a mobile app for users (including persons with disabilities (PwDs), senior citizens, women and children) to know about accessibility of various Indian heritage sites. Students also seek to develop an innovative 'Accessibility Audit Tool Kit' to foster cultural equity.