Vaila is an architect with a passion for inclusive design and sustainability.
Her design background is primarily in housing design (of varying scales), from domestic alterations and extensions to new build developments and estate regeneration projects.
Vaila has worked in architectural practices in London with ECD Architects & JCMT Architects (now TM Architects), in Cambridge with AC Architects and did her architectural training in Glasgow with sustainable housing specialists John Gilbert Architects.
Becoming a mum and carer to her little girl with complex needs has provided a new perspective on the need for thoughtful accessible design, of the gaps in the system and failures in design.
This prompted her to begin writing a blog (www.theinclusivehome.co.uk) to share her family’s own experiences of accessibility and also to explore and share ideas on inclusive design of places, spaces, buildings and products.
The home design media lacks coverage of ideas and inspiration for accessible design. Although some design trends, like open plan living, hint at inclusive design principles, this is rarely mentioned (or celebrated!) as being of value.
There's a perception that ‘wheelchair friendly’ homes are niche, and it seems somehow that the idea of inclusive design (or even better accessible or universal design) being beneficial to all of us hasn’t been embraced!
Vaila wants to see this change, to see fantastic examples of accessible homes featured on TV makeover shows and in the homestyle magazines, so that disabled people and their families are presented with inspirational examples of how fantastic their homes can be.
It is also important that non-disabled people see inclusive design as an interesting and exciting design approach for life-long happy homes that will welcome ALL of their friends and family!