Warawoot Chuangchai is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. He is a Visiting Fellow at CRASSH in 2024.

Q: Warawoot, You recently joined CRASSH as a Visiting Fellow. Could you tell us a little bit about what you are working on during your fellowship?

My research interests are in areas of design for vulnerable populations, including elderly people and people with disabilities, particularly in the Global South. Thailand is currently facing a number of challenges, including an ageing population rapidly transitioning into a super-aged society and inaccessible designs for public use on a physical, psychological, and social level. At CRASSH, I am conducting research on two specific social aspects: social implications for inclusive public spaces and accessible design standards for social uses.

Q: Could you tell us about articles you are working on?

I am now working on two articles. The first paper is original research focusing on the needs of public spaces for people with disabilities. The article highlights the current expectations of how people with disabilities want to use their spaces (such as green areas and parks) for social reasons. Debate surrounds the ongoing controversy over social inclusion between general and disabled populations. I have a great chance to discuss this work with the director (Professor Joanna Page) and deputy director (Associate Professor Stuart Hogarth) of CRASSH. I am grateful for their useful feedback, which helped me improve the manuscript in a way unique to my field.

The second paper is a critical examination of Thai ministerial regulations (accessible design) for the elderly and disabled. This article examines the changes in context between the first and second (latest version) issues, developed sixteen years apart. It identifies users’ concerns for those with cognitive problems and disabilities. The initial outcome is scheduled to be presented orally at an international conference later this year. The complete findings will be submitted to the journal that corresponds to the conference. The full paper will provide more details on analysis across cognitive functions and domains.

Q: Can you tell us more about recent publications?

I would like to share two articles I wrote last year. One is a review, while the other is a perspective article, both focusing on urban green spaces for people with disabilities.

A review 1 demonstrates how green spaces in cities are important for enhancing health among people with disabilities. The article presents three dimensions: the world, the population, and the individual aspects. It also discusses sustainable design developments and neighbourhoods, both in the present and in the future.

A perspective article 2 proposes a modification of the classic theory of ‘universal design’ for urban green spaces. This brief viewpoint introduces a new approach to interpreting universal design principles in order to optimise their benefits for designers, particularly in today’s diverse societies.

Writing these two pieces has been refreshing for me since it allows me to express my personal thoughts on my design experiences in a manner that standard research papers do not. It was enjoyable, and I hope it serves to assist readers with their design research and practice.

Q: How are you finding life at CRASSH?

I really enjoy the learning environments that CRASSH and the University offer. There are numerous opportunities to enhance my research abilities, including discussions, funding preparations, and monitoring postdocs’ mental health issues. My favourites are CRASSH’s Research Practice Seminars and the Postdoc Academy’s workshops.

Importantly, people at CRASSH are friendly. I feel like I have great support in working and living here, which, at the same time, encourages me to learn new things. I had a great chance to meet lots of new fellows and spend time with them. I learned a lot from their experiences, and their suggestions are worthy. I’d like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to some wonderful members of our community. Professor Yuqin Jiang, a CDH fellow, has been an incredible source of support and advice for my career path. We had a robust conversation about preparing to write short science fiction together, which I believe will be a fun project. I am appreciative of Una Yeung, who has been a kind colleague to me since I first got here. We sat next to one another, and she always radiated a positive vibe. I am thankful to Professor Mohammad Mozahidul Islam and Dr Michael Franklin for caring for each other and helping me focus on my goals.

This is year four of my postdoctoral experience, and it has been the finest so far before I begin a new journey as a full-time instructor in a university design school the next year. I am convinced that what I learned here will benefit me in my future profession. I am so glad about my decision to do my final year of postdoctoral research here at CRASSH. Although it may be too soon, I can’t help but feel how much I’m going to miss everyone here when the time comes for me to leave.

Q: Do you have any interests or hobbies outside of academia you would like to share with us?

I love taking pictures of architecture, street life, and nature. Cambridge’s colleges and city each have their own characteristics, and I enjoy visiting their historical buildings and gardens. I frequently visit King’s College because I pass it on my way to CRASSH every day, and it is truly beautiful in all seasons. The porters at King’s College gates make me feel so happy to start and end my workdays with their friendly greetings and smiles.

I love watching English football, especially the Premier League, and I am a supporter of Liverpool. I got a chance for the first time to see Anfield Stadium and the city, which is filled with Beatles music. A Liverpool fan I met here recently introduced me to Cambridge United, and I think I’ll start watching their games next season.


1 The Importance of Urban Green Spaces in Enhancing Holistic Health and Sustainable Well-Being for People with Disabilities: A Narrative Review, 2023, Buildings, 13, 2100.

2 Improving Accessibility to Urban Greenspaces for People with Disabilities: A Modified Universal Design Approach, 2023, Journal of Planning Literature, 39(1), 79–83.

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