Inclusive Design*

  • Course Code: ID5383
  • ECTS: 3
  • Language: English
  • Instructor: Stella Boess

The main course goal is to understand the current state of the phenomenon of Inclusive Design, which had alternative names like Design for All or Universal Design. Inclusive Design means to aim for the widest possible audience during and with the design process. It does not mean however to design for all 7 billion people on earth! It means considering any specified population to include in designing. For example: left-handed people, wheelchair users, tall people, small people, obese people, colour blind people, people with dyslexia or RSI, people with age-related specifics etc. The list continues, which means that we realise that hardly anyone is ‘normal’. People aged over 65 for example, currently count 15% in the Netherlands but this will grow to 25% in 2050. They are more diverse than younger people. Risks for them also rise: lethal home accidents rise 5-fold compared to younger people.

The effect of design should be that stigmatisation and risk is avoided, and participation and quality of life is enhanced. Take the example of eye glasses: they were an orthesis in the middle ages and are now aesthetic lifestyle enhancements.

To design inclusively, the designer needs to be able to collaborate with people, understand understand their usage of their everyday things, and respond creatively.

* To make this course count as a medisign elective, the assignment should have a medical focus!

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