We are increasingly leading sedentary lives - from couch potato kids who are glued to their computers, office workers who barely leave their desks and long distance truck drivers who spend long hours behind the wheel, through to the elderly who live in supported care schemes at the end of their lives. Getting people moving is a massive challenge. Inclusive design proposals were invited from member firms of the Design Business Association to address any one of a range of sedentary scenarios.
Sian Jarvis, Director of Communications at the Department of Health (DOH) and initiator of the influential Change 4 Life campaign, was keynote speaker at the awards event on 5 March. She laid out why the DOH has invested £75 million over three years to get people on their feet again and why the Sedenary Lives theme is pertinent to the state of the nation in economic and health terms.
Five design teams were shortlisted for the DBA Inclusive Design Challenge 2009. The breadth of possible scenarios allowed them to concentrate on issues affecting the whole spectrum of lifestyle, age and ability in the general population - a naturally inclusive design fit. Obesity, the direct consequence of sedentary lifestyles, emerged as a major theme. So it was left to the teams to tackle the big question - how can design help to turn the tide of the inactive and obese?
The 2009 DBA Inclusive Design Challenge Award went to Matter for 'mo-dynamic seating' - a radical redesign of the cushion. Deborah Dawton, CEO of the Design Business Association, presented the award designed by Japanese ceramist Ikuko Iwamoto.
What the speakers said:
"This is the second year Sanctuary Care has sponsored the DBA Inclusive Design Challenge... and the main reason is just because it's such a worthwhile competition. The designs this year have been exceptional."
Steve Wood, Managing Director, Sanctuary Care
"What I found really interesting about all five presentations ... is that all of you held up a mirror to the individual. It was really all about the individual having to change their behaviour. There was no mechanical device that would somehow come in and make us all healthier and fitter."
Sian Jarvis, Director of Communications, Department of Health