Julia Cassim, Dip.AD. M.Phil. Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, Royal College of Art, London.
Julia Cassim is a Research Fellow and Programme Leader of the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre's
Inclusive Business RCA Programme. She organises the annual DBA Design Challenge a design
competition where member firms of the Design Business Association work with disabled people to
develop inclusive products, services and communications for the mainstream market. The focus of
the programme is knowledge transfer to the design community and industry on inclusive design
methodologies and the development of supporting case studies.
Prior to joining the RCA, her career as a writer, designer and researcher focused on making museum
collections of art and artefacts cognitively and physically accessible to people with sensory or
learning disabilities. She is currently a consultant to the Natural History Museum.
Julia studied fine art and art history, first at Manchester College of Art and Design and then at
Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music where she received a Japanese Government postgraduate
Much of her career has been spent in Japan. She worked as arts columnist of The Japan Times, and
founded a non-profit organisation for visually impaired people to access museum collections. She
curated and designed award-winning exhibitions for audiences with visual impairments and learning
disabilities. Into the Light - Museums and their Visually Impaired Visitorsı, her book published
by Shogakkan in Japan, draws on this experience. Her work in this area continues with four
subsequent exhibitions in the UK and Japan of work by artists with disabilities.
Returning to the UK in 1998, Julia joined the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre in 2000. She was
awarded an MPhil from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 2002 for a study building on her
work with visual impairment and the arts in Japan.
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