Design to include

The world is increasingly turning its attention towards inclusive design. Yet, rather than being a trend, it is already a part of our everyday lives. Consider automatic doors for example, or the -- DROPped curb, which benefits wheelchair users, the elderly and those with baby strollers alike.

In a nutshell, inclusive design is the design of a building, product or services that are accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of age, gender and disability. It is a particularly pertinent concept in an era of global ageing, and when there is an increasingly loud call for disability-friendly architecture and designs. It is precisely for this reason that ‘Include’ was the theme of Knowledge of Design Week 2017.

Hosted by the Hong Kong Design Centre, the five-day event played host a series of creatives, thought leaders and organisations who are at the forefront of inclusive design. One stellar example included Piotri Log, whose Virtual Dream Foundation leverages Virtual Reality (VR) technologies to help children suffering from long-term diseases to experience worlds that are otherwise unavailable to them. Another case in point was The Human Understanding Design Centre in Seoul. During KODW 2017, service design director Hansol Paeng spoke of the importance of ‘empathetic observation’. By initiating focus groups to better understand patients' needs, everyone, from architects, doctors, consultants to patients and their families, becomes involved in the design thinking process. Want to learn more about how Hong Kong designers are incorporating inclusive design principles into their creations? Stay tuned for our next post!