Hi! You've made it to my blog!

I’m Apoorva, a design researcher bridging the mismatches between a person’s capabilities and the environment/product/platform they interact with. With a master’s in Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, and a bachelor’s in Human Centered Design from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, I work at the intersection of Accessibility, Design Research, and Making.

My work shows diversified skills and knowledge in the design research, UX process, interaction design and inclusive design. I use my developing, programming, and prototyping skills in Figma, Sketch, DOM(HTML, CSS, JS) C++, Python, App-layer networks, and numerous APIs for ML, training AI models and data scraping to build my designs into testable prototypes for user insight.

Contact for collaboration or coffee chats(or chai) at apoorvaavadhana@gmail.com

A picture of me taking a workshop at ITP on Human-Centered Design
Everyday Human-Centered Design Workshop series at ITP Design Lab conducted by me.
Picture of me leading a design exercise with my team of 5, RealAccess.VR.
Leading a design exercise with my team RealAccess.VR, for MIT Reality Hack 2024, where we researched and developed an accessible immersive ER experience.


I was born in New Delhi, raised in Mumbai, attended university and worked in Bangalore, and currently based in NYC. My parents come from the small towns of Jamshedpur and Trichy in India. 

I used to travel 4 hours back and forth in the city of Mumbai for my dance training. I passed through tiny houses to billionaires’ properties and wondered why some had to cook on the streets whereas others had an in-house chef. I saw people buying plastic bottles on the train while I saw the only river in Mumbai filled with bottles and bags. Every time I wish something around me was different, my mind directly starts plotting every observation and planning possible frugal or expansive solutions. 

Coming into a Designer

For the longest time, I wondered how the ideas in my journal could make real-world impacts. The first time I observed confidence in my ability to change the world was at 16 when I started my own social organisation, Dance2Konnect. We ran with the motto of ‘spreading smiles and connecting with the underprivileged of society through the medium of dance.’ I have always thought of social good as one’s moral responsibility as a community citizen, but I was naive to assume one’s privilege and disadvantage. I needed a place to shape these thoughts, which I finally got when I later joined the undergraduate school.

Panic Disorder and Chronic Pain

I was 19 when I was diagnosed with a panic disorder, but I’ve lived with it my whole life. Where I grew up, there weren’t (still largely aren’t) any social systems set up in schools or outside to diagnose and help children with mental disorders, until they grow up and try to find answers themselves(if they’re lucky). My panic disorder causes temporary mobility impairment in my limbs and that gets me stuck in all sorts of places, sidewalks, cafes, busses. I had no way to call for help or help myself other than wait for 2 hours to regain my strength or have someone call for me. Voice interactions changed everything for me, and saved me in many instants. 

I live with chronic pain due to endometriosis. Unsurprisingly, this is also under-diagnosed in the country I come from. It took me 15 years to finally get the reassurance that I do suffer everyday.

My Practice

We have definitely utilised the power of data to predict and even proactively trigger one’s actions. Unfortunately, subjectivity is seen as unpredictability in today’s data-driven world and even discarded as an outlier in a generic system. But we are surrounded by subjectivity. For example, should one take the same route to travel to the hospital vs. the park beside it? If individuals have unique identities, how is expecting identical behavior patterns from them humane and not robotic? I aim to expand from generalising experiences and embrace the subjective, empirical, and qualitative aspects of decision making, human-human connections and experiences. I am focused on the humane-centered development of technology and society by humanising technology and not mechanising humans. At the same time, I believe, design can’t progress unilaterally among people who can access and afford it. Design can make lives easier, and I want to ensure design is not discriminatory. I intend to use design to bring a tangible change towards the social uplifting of the underprivileged: elderly, disabled, children, women, and ones from poor communities by surfacing unheard voices and bridging divides.


At the finishing leg of my 2-year 60-credit terminal MPS degree at the Interactive Telecommunications Program(ITP) at NYU. The last two years have been transformational in expanding my design education through understanding complex technology, making for research and learning that art is a digestible channel to convey complex ideas, in a playful, accessible, and insightful manner.

Working on my thesis, “Reciprocative Design Methodologies.” By collaborating with the organisations, HeartShare and Level the Curve, the research examines the lack of accessibility inclusion within ubiquitous design methodologies. The results are a series of adapted everyday products using the adapted methodologies through a series of workshops at ITP, undergrad classes, HeartShare and Level the Curve.




GenResearch2.0 is a pair researcher tool for generative research using generative AI(Llama, OpenAI).

AbleNav is an accessible indoor navigation tool that uses WiFi routers(BSSID) to guide people to the key locations of a large indoor spaces(Campuses, Museums, Airports, etc.) using audio and haptic feedback on android.

The Ultimate Menstrual Experience is an iOS AR interface connected to a TENS machine using OSC to augmented one’s senses to understand my endometriosis experience

HapticAid is an assistive tech wrist band that uses haptics as biofeedback to help one ease their heart rate when experience panic attacks or accelerated anxiety.

Unofficial Transcript




-Led an Accessibility Research and Design workshop for IXponentials IBM India.
-Led Accessibility Workshop at Patterns South and East Asia 2022
-Attended Patterns Design Program 2022, to design an internal mobility and hiring tools for IBMers to grow in their career seamlessly.
-Joined the Center of Excellence in Accessibility, to set up an accessibility team at MetLife,USA and platform for the team to understand accessibility compliance requirements. 
-Completed work for the TSB Account
-Placed 2nd in the Adobe-IBM Design Competition by designing an a service for children and damily members to co-watch shows and co-participate in fitness activities with the elderly in the family.
-Led design and accessibility training for IBM new joinees. 
-Led IBM C-School Design Workshop for American India Foundation for rural girls education in India
-Led interviews and participated in the research study for IBMxCBSE(Central Board of Secondary Education, India) for a gov led e-learning platform to make cellular and online education accessible in villages and towns in India.
-Participated in the development of the design curriculum for a new design school in India.
-Awards IBM Service Excellence Award
-Initiated COVID 19 PORTAL for IBM India to make essential resources like, hospital beds, essential medicine, oxygen tanks, etc. availability transparent and accessible across the country during the disastrous second Delta covid wave in India, during which many dies due to the lack of resources.(June 2021)
-Earned several design, accessibility and ai certification badges.
-TSB UK (Trustee Savings Bank) Account as a UX Researcher and Designer. 30+ Surveys, 20+ research studies, designed 60+ flows for 6+ offerings by TSB with some innovative credit card features like gambling blocks, parental control, etc. working with the UI designers, functional designer, developers, business analysis, product managers and product owner. 
-IBM Ixponential CoreTeam curator. Led Book Review Sessions,’Three Takeaways for 3 Minutes Each’,‘IBM Sketch Fest’, set up calendar management automatisation, 
-Drafted Proposals(RFP) for a major Thailand based telco company, UK based steel company
-Co-facilitated IBM Telco Leadership EDT workshop




Won IAMAI Award and the ADI Awards

SIGCHI Travel Grant
Plural Navigation Paper
Taught a git workshop to master’s student
Internship at BRnD Studio
Decode Vector
Curator for Bangalore Walk Festival 2018
Performed at Srishti Live
Dance2Konnect Orphanage
1st year Design Charrette presented at the Srishti
Dance2Konnect Old Age Home
HTML CSS Javascript




Dance2Konnect Charity Fest
Dance2Konnect Special School
Dance2Konnect Cancer Hospital
Dance2Konnect Old Age Home
Dance2Konnect Women’s day
Won 1st Place in NMRC Seaside Interschool District Level Solo Dance Competition(Sep 2015)
Started a Social Organisation, Dance2Konnect, in Mumbai (16 October 2013)
Won fourth place in Interschool National Level Dance Competition (5 Dec 2014)
Won second place in Interschool State Level Dance Competition (15 August 2014)
Won Best Dancer Female in Mumbai by Shiamak Davar International (Summer 2013)
NIIT Object oriented programming in C++, HTML5, CSS3(July 2013)
WizKid Abacus Education(10 June 2006)
Harmonium Parthmik National Exam for the Arts
National Art certifications Cleared Kala Probheshika part I(June 2005), Kala Probheshika part II(August 2006), Kala Probheshika Purna(January 2008,



Family and Early Life

Creativity is a gift from my mother. She didn’t look for extravagant things to create. She was a daily problem solver in everyday life, make organizers with leftover cartons, tricks to water the plants while going on a vacation, etc. I started drawing sitting on her lap when I was two years old and haven’t stopped drawing since. I communicated my imaginations then using my pencil and I do it now as a designer. My brother and I were inquisitive children, my brother much more than I was. We discussed systems, policies, news, innovations, world crisis, religion, and science. My parents would join at times. My brother would fight dirty and I hated that he had a factual response for everything hence I went on to develop my critical thinking, opinions and questioning facts, assumption and possibilities. Over the years our fights and discussions have become a part of our family culture and I love to go home to those- meaningful conversations.

Designing the Vulun Grip with LevelTheCurve

The name ‘Vulcan’ is derived from Roman mythology, where he is recognized as the god of fire and metalworking. Notably, Vulcan holds the unique distinction of being the only disabled god in this mythology. The Vulcan grip is a ‘grip assistant aid’, a type of assistive technology that assists users

Read More »

Plural Navigation : Navigation for a Wholesome Experience

Navigation Platforms like Google Maps, use objective and generic quantitative data to provide all its users’ an optimized path between their intended point A and point B. This paper opens up questions like– is the primary goal of navigation to reach the destination? If not, then what all are the

Read More »

Make in India (Policy Review)

Under the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of India and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Make in India or Public Procurement is a Scheme under the Foreign Direct Investment Policy. Based on the 2017 revision, it was stated that “it is the policy of the government of

Read More »

Humanizing Technology or Mechanizing Humans

We are living in a digital world. Integrating part by part our lives with technology and finding aid to our needs, problems, curiosity, entertainment, ailments through it. We are left amazing by how an application through the web can deliver such deceptively simple solutions to the world’s cribbing and literally

Read More »


Though the literacy rates and almost been the same and the women employment rates have been slightly declining in the past few years, more and more women are empowered now and are making their way into such conversations. It is a common saying, “Empowered women empower other women” and that

Read More »


Numbers. What do numbers mean to us? When we see numbers on expiry, reliability, recyclability on our products it is a sign of proof and validation. When we see numbers of rating on movies and shows it represents the worth of spending time on it. We have a sense of

Read More »

Internet of Things

Imagine waking up in the morning, your alarm goes off and simultaneously sends a signal to your coffee maker to brew your coffee. Your outfit for the day made ready depending on your mood, hot water bath set up with your choice of music and your day’s plan prepared for

Read More »

Trauma and its Impact on Childhood and Child Development

ABSTRACTThe literature on traumas of childhood and its effect on them in the form ofpermanent atypical behavior due to traumatic experiences, violence, and neglectsuggest that the violence either results in the child being antisocial or to the otherextreme of being unreasonably willing to socialize with any stranger. The effect isalso

Read More »

Critical Analysis- Cultural Capital

 What did I first think when I heard cultural capital? As literal as it can be, I asked myself is my culture my capital? My asset? I looked at the clothes I was wearing, the bag I was carrying, and the picture of ‘Lal Baug cha raja’ that I had

Read More »