Dr Navjit Gaurav

Assistant Professor, School of Design
PhD, Queen’s University, Canada

Dr Navjit Gaurav, an Assistant Professor at Anant, has extensive experience in qualitative and participatory research in design education and communication, disability and design, child-friendly design, co-design, assistive technology, person-environment interactions and community-engaged scholarship. His pedagogical approach integrates user experience, design thinking, place-making, co-design, universal and inclusive design and participatory methods.


Dr Gaurav aims to integrate design thinking into students’ learning at Anant. His interests lie at the intersection of disability and design, focusing on Universal and Inclusive Design. He emphasises inclusion, design communication, the use of arts to build communities and the development of action-oriented, evidence-informed design ideas to benefit society.


An accomplished scholar and architect, Dr Gaurav completed his postdoctoral research work at the School of Rehabilitation Therapy and Douglas Library and PhD from Queen’s University, Canada. His doctoral research explored the intersection of disability and design, focusing on designing inclusive school environments for children with physical disabilities. His PhD work holds a significant practical impact, including a policy brief presented at the United Nations Academic Council and a practical guide used by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.


He holds a Master’s degree in Disability Studies from Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai, where he received a Gold Medal for Research and exemplary fieldwork. His master’s thesis addressed architectural and academic barriers faced by students with orthopaedic disabilities in higher education institutions. An undergraduate from the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, his thesis on tribal art and architectural heritage was selected as one of the top three design theses in the country by Architecture and Design magazine and CERA.


Before joining Anant, Dr Gaurav taught at Queen’s University, integrating design thinking, participatory approaches and user-experience design into home modification and community engagement courses. He has also delivered invited lectures on Universal Design, Accessibility and Social Design at institutions, such as Pratt Institute of Design, NY, Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai and Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.


In addition to his teaching career, he has four years of architectural practice. He has served as a community architect, leading innovative projects like a community library incorporating Building As a Learning Aid (BALA) concepts and as a project architect on various design projects. His numerous fellowships and grants testify to his leadership in inclusive design and community-based research, further underlining his professional capabilities.


Beyond academia, Dr Gaurav is an accomplished artist with expertise in sketching and painting. His artwork has been exhibited in art shows in India and Canada, with several pieces in private collections in both countries. In his leisure time, he enjoys travelling to natural and historical sites, where he documents his experiences through sketches, photographs and narratives. Additionally, he enjoys cooking, hiking and writing poetry.