A Book Apart

Get to Know Sameera Kapila

Oct 28, 2022

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Portrait of  Sameera Kapila smiling in front of brown background.

Meet Sameera Kapila

Up next in our Meet the Author series, we’re getting to know Sameera Kapila—author of Inclusive Design CommunitiesShe shares how she starts each day (hint: pet smooches are involved), how gardening helps alleviate self-doubt, and which books she’s currently reading.

ABA: What is your favorite thing about your workspace?

Sameera Kapila: Plants and a window that lets in a lot of sunlight and provides a nice view. The island-raised girl in me believes I’m solar powered, so I love getting energy from the sun. There are also at least two-four pets around at any given time (two cats, two dogs).

ABA: What’s the first thing you do every morning to start your day on the right foot?

SK: I kiss my pets on the forehead and make a cup of coffee. If I can get some stretches in and water the plants, it’s going to be a good day!

ABA: Is there anyone you’re following the work of right now, who you’d recommend others pay attention to?

SK: Designers Anna Cook and Eric Bailey, for sure! I always love to read what they write, especially around accessibility. Also, Nicole Cardoza from Anti-Racism Daily, and Blair Imani who hosts Smarter In Seconds, share a lot about identity and inclusion. I’m always learning something new from these folks.

ABA: In moments of self-doubt, how do you recharge and rally to keep going?

SK: When I’m overwhelmed with doubts, I try to cook or garden because those activities keep my hands busy and my mind excited about something fruitful.

ABA: Is there a fear or professional challenge that keeps you up at night? What is it?

SK: The number of marginalized designers and engineers who have left the industry due to being excluded by managers and environments. And that there are so many folks who face barriers to entering the field if they don’t fit a certain profile.

ABA: What characteristic do you most admire in other driven/creative people?

SK: The characteristic I admire the most is curiosity!

ABA: Is there a piece of professional or life advice you’ve gotten that has always stuck with you? What is it?

SK: The one piece of advice that sticks out the most is along the lines of always using your power and privilege to help others and amplify them.

ABA: What are you reading right now?

SK: I’m usually reading a few books in different genres and topic areas at the same time:

  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard
  • Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space by Amanda Leduc

ABA: What’s your favorite place to read?

SK: There’s a beach in Curaçao called Kokomo, and it’s my favorite place to read or write! In Austin, TX, I love writing at our downtown library.


Learn more about all our authors—check out the rest of our Meet the Author series!

Have you picked up your copy of Inclusive Design Communities yet? Pair it with Cross Cultural Design and save 10% (15% when you buy paperbacks and ebooks)!