Gunawan (Gunte) Tanuwidjaja

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Areas of interest: Inclusive design, human centred design, healthcare architecture, aging architecture, educational design

MSc. Real Estate In National University of Singapore, Singapore
Bachelor in Architecture Engineering (ST) from Institut Teknologi Bandung/ Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia
Associate Certified Architect (Anggota Madya) of the Indonesian Architect Association (Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia)

Gunawan is a PhD Candidate in the School of Architecture and Built Environment, Engineering Faculty, the Queensland University of Technology with full support of the Australia Awards Scholarship.

His research topic is related to Inclusive Design or Universal Design in Libraries for Persons with Disabilities. He is focusing on Case Study Research of Libraries in Australia and Indonesia.

Gunawan Tanuwidjaja was a Lecturer at Petra Christian University, Architecture Program in Indonesia. He has taught Inclusive Design with Service – Learning Methods involving Persons with Disabilities, since 2013. His course was always in collaboration with international partners such as UBCHEA, JICA and UN-Habitat. Several Service Learning programs executed were :

  1. The soundscape of Visually Impaired Persons for Urban Park Improvement in Surabaya (with UBCHEA, Aug 2017 – July 2018)
  2. Improving Accessibility of All Users in Petra Christian University Library (with UBCHEA, Aug 2016 – July 2017)
  3. UN-Habitat Prepcom 3 Parallel event with the title of Seminar and Field Visit: Inclusive Building and Urban Parks in Surabaya (in collaboration with UN-Habitat, Ministry of Public Works and the Public Housing Republic of Indonesia, Surabaya Municipality and Petra Christian University, July 2016
  4. Service Learning of Inclusive Design for Homes and Schools in Surabaya and Bandung, Participatory Design and Campaign (with UBCHEA, Aug 2015 – July 2016)
  5. Data collection survey on disability and development in Indonesia collaborating with Japan International Cooperation Agency (with JICA, June 2015 – Sept 2015)
  6. UNDK Mini Project with the title of “Portraying The Toileting Culture of Surabaya People: People’s Perception and Toilet Design Diversity, (in collaboration with UNDK Indonesia and UBCHEA, May 2013 – December 2013)
  7. Service-Learning Inclusive Design with Persons with Visual Disabilities in Special School Surabaya (Independent project, August 2012 – July 2013) Related to his Master’s degree, he has coordinated many planning experiences in JURONG International Urban Planning Division in 2006-2008.

He was also involved in many ‘green’ and conventional urban planning, industrial planning, and urban design projects in Qatar, Indonesia, China, India and Vietnam. The Jurong International Pty Ltd is currently merged under the Surbana – Jurong Pty Ltd.

Thesis Title: Barriers and Opportunities for Inclusive Design in Indonesia: Implications for the Development of a Culturally Appropriate Inclusive Design Framework.

The promotion and protection of the rights of People with Disabilities are central to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities/ UNCRPD (2007) and the World Health Organisation (World Health Organisation, & World Bank/ WHO & WB, 2011). People with Disabilities, in this context, is described as ‘those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’ (UNCRPD, 2007, Article 1). However, the implementation of the Indonesian regulations remains problematic with many building facilities failing to address the access needs of People with Disabilities (Edwards, 2014); a situation that is compounded by other social and medical barriers. In response to such barriers, Kusumastuti, Pradanasari, & Ratnawati (2014) recommend to increase the educational level of People with Disabilities to create inclusive employment and generally increasing public awareness of the need for Disability inclusion. Adioetomo, Mont, & Irwanto (2014) support the argument for developing an inclusive education system and facilities, including training and empowerment of teachers with regards to students with Disabilities. This study concerns with identifying the barriers to and opportunities for the Inclusive Design of libraries in Indonesia, particularly for People with Disabilities. The concept of ‘Inclusive Design’ (ID) is defined as the creation of buildings and products with inclusive principles for as many users as possible (The British Standards Institution, 2005). Therefore, the main research question proposed in this study is ‘what are the barriers to and opportunities for implementing Inclusive Design in Indonesia and Australia?’ As an illustrative case of Inclusive Design, in another cultural context, the study aims exploration of an Indonesian and an Australian library. In particular, the study’s objectives is to investigate the barriers of implementing Inclusive Design in public libraries from Indonesian and Australian stakeholders’ perspectives (including libraries’ management, non-government organisations, People with Disabilities and their representative organisations, architects and accessibility consultants assisting the design, as well as other users). Responding to the above aims, the study adopts a Grounded Theory (GT) methodology. Charmaz (2006) proposes Constructivist Design as the new philosophy between positivists and post-modernists.


Principal Supervisor:  A/Prof Janice Rieger
Associate Supervisor: Prof Jill Franz, A/Prof Connie Susilawati

Estimated completion date: January, 2022