Kavita Gonsalves

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Areas of interest: Citymaking and civic engagement, Placemaking: Activism, Urban Play, Storytelling, Digital Placemaking Participatory Design

LEED AP BD+C, Creative Sustainability Minor (Aalto University, Finland), Masters of Architecture (Glasgow School of Art, UK) Bachelor of Architecture (Manipal Institute of Technology, India).

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 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.

Thesis Title: Radical Placemaking: Designing an Experiential Placemaking toolkit for Social Justice

This doctoral research addresses the lack of participation of oppressed groups in placemaking. It proposes Radical placemaking as a tactic of creative representation in placemaking. Radical Placemaking involves marginalised communities creating hybrid physical-digital worlds on place-based issues through the use of digital storytelling and low-tech augmented reality. The aim of the study is to understand the impact of Radical Placemaking and it’s efficacy for dialogue and activism within communities and their various stakeholders. Using participatory design, the study will involve two action cycles of developing artefacts in collaboration with community organisations in Australia and India. The experience, data and knowledge gained from these action cycles will lead to the development of an open source ‘Radical Placemaking’ online toolkit. The toolkit will provide a creative route to counter dominant narratives and will be designed for use by non-profits and civic organisations.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Marcus Foth
Associate Supervisor: Dr Glenda Amayo Caldwell

Estimated Completion Date: February, 2023