Kavita Gonsalves

    PhD Candidate

    Kavita is a PhD candidate with the Urban Informatics Research Group at the QUT Design Lab. Her research focuses on placemaking by marginalised groups through the use of technology. With a background in architecture and sustainable design, she has been involved in multi-disciplinary projects such as workplace design, design research, graphic design, architecture, urban design and design strategy. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from Manipal Institute of Technology and her Master of Architecture from Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art. She co-founded street-based guerrilla movements such as Multicoloured Dreamz (Helsinki, Finland) and the Bake Collective (Bombay & Bangalore, India) and was a SI Young Connector of the Future 2014 Fellow.

    Research areas

    • Citymaking and civic engagement
    • Placemaking: Activism, Urban Play, Storytelling, Digital Placemaking
    • Ethnographic Action Research

    PhD Research: Radical Placemaking: Designing a toolkit for placemaking for those who experience structural oppression

    This doctoral research addresses the lack of representation and participation of oppressed groups in placemaking. The aim is to assess the role of current digital forms of placemaking and new ways that oppressed groups, such as the Indian transgender community, can stake claim to presence in public spaces and decisions about their urban habitat. It proposes to explore the idea that digital technology has the potential to create hybrid physical and digital representations that give voice to underrepresented ‘others’ and engage the mainstream public. The proposal looks to adapt the Ethnographic Action Research (EAR) methodology for developing this placemaking toolkit in collaboration with oppressed groups in Bangalore, India and Brisbane, Australia. The toolkit’s impact on reducing stigma and increasing participation of oppressed groups in design of their physical environments through novel placemaking initiatives will be evaluated and forms this PhD’s main contribution to knowledge.