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Shital Desai

Shital Desai

Faculty Fellow, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

Faculty Fellow

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Shital Desai is an assistant professor in interaction design at the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design and heads the CFI-funded Social and Technological Systems (SaTS) lab at York University.

She is an interaction designer and human-centred designer; her practice, teaching and research focussing on inclusive and accessible design. Her research addresses issues that focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals using design research methods, human-centred design, systems design and speculative design approaches. To that extent, she cocreates accessible technologies, services and governance policies for marginalized demographics and global health. Her current research projects focus on giving agency to vulnerable populations such as older adults and children through design of interactive systems. She is interested in exploring the role of emerging technologies as a tool to facilitate this agency. To advance these efforts, she collaborates with researchers in health science, global health and engineering to provide a holistic design solution to global issues. Shital is a member of the WHO dementia knowledge exchange peer review network, where she shares her expert knowledge on dementia and technology in strengthening policies, service planning and health and social care systems for dementia. She is passionate about training students in systems design and design thinking methods to address societal issues around accessibility and inclusivity.

She is affiliated with the Sensorium, Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) and YU-CARE research centres at York University, Dementia and Technology Engagement (DATE) lab at TRI UHN and Inclusive Media and Design Centre (IMDC) at the Toronto Metropolitan University.

Shital is the recipient of several awards and grants, including the 2021-22 AMPD Research award, the 2021 Petro Canada Young Innovator Award and tri-council grants from SSHRC, CIHR and NSERC. She received an NSERC Discovery Grant in 2021 to design and develop adaptive assistive technologies for people with dementia. She collaborates with several interdisciplinary researchers nationally and internationally.

Research keywords:

Global health; co-creation and co-design; humanity-centred design; systems design; design futures; interaction design; aging; assistive technologies


Planetary Health



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