DBA Inclusive Design Challenge 2009
We are increasingly leading sedentary lives – from couch potato kids who are glued to their computers and office workers who barely leave their desks, through to those who live in supported care schemes at the end of their lives. Getting people moving is a massive challenge. The inclusive design proposals can address any one of the range of sedentary scenarios.
The rise of car ownership in the face of decreased public transport outside of urban areas means that people no longer walk as they once did. Sixty per cent of men and 72 per cent of women do not meet the minimum recommendations for physical activity in adults (i.e. at least 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week). Thirty per cent of adults admitted to not participating in any form of active sport in 2006. How can design address and reverse some of these statistics?
Concerns about personal safety have meant that there is a generation of children unable to roam or play outside who are instead chauffeured, protected and confined at the expense of creative play and adventure. How can design alleviate and provide alternatives for this generation of involuntary shut-ins?
Our time-pressured lives and the growth of convenience food have lead to major health issues, with nearly a quarter of men and women in the UK now classified as obese – at a cost to the NHS of £4.2 billion every year. The trends for children are even more cause for concern, with 18 per cent of 2 to 15 year olds currently obese and a further 14 per cent overweight. It is estimated that 60 per cent of the UK population could be obese by 2050. With obesity there are often other issues: diabetes; hypertension; and the accompanying risk of stroke. How can design interventions encourage people to change their lifestyles to more healthy alternative ones?
Obesity is not the only effect – many of us work in office environments where the lighting is poor, the furniture is unsuited to long hours in front of a computer screen and the ambient environment is not conducive to creative thought. Back pain and headaches are just two of the well-documented effects of poorly conceived working spaces. How can design provide those elements that will make the office environment a place of stimulation and creativity and not a health hazard?
For some a sedentary life is not a choice but a reality and one that is not of their choosing. Those living in institutional settings, be it a supported living environment or a hospital, are most affected both physically and emotionally by the failure of design to provide a stimulating and comfortable environment. How can design address their needs and aspirations?
Among the questions those responding to this challenge considered were:
The solutions took the form of:
Awards presentation – Thursday 5 March 2009
The five shorlisted teams presented their projects at a high-profile evening event and drinks reception at the Royal College of Art on 5 March 2009, The winner, Matter was presented with a trophy. The event included a DBA Inclusive Design Challenge exhibition of the shortlisted projects.
Further information on inclusive design, previous DBA Inclusive Design Challenges and case studies can be found here.
A transcript of the Awards presentation event on 5 March can be downloaded here.