Age & Ability Research Lab
Collaboration with the design profession has focused on the annual DBA Inclusive Design Challenge organised with the Design Business Association - 23 case studies from this programme are featured here.
Its central feature is the teaming up of design firms with disabled users to work on a lifestyle-oriented brief over an extensive period of several weeks. The disabled users are chosen deliberately to challenge assumptions within the design team.
The programme started in 2000 and as it became established, requests came in for more compact versions and specialist Challenge Workshops for individual companies or projects. Now workshops are individually tailored to both commercial and academic contexts, with challenges being organised around the world, in collaboration with, for example, the British Council. The focus is on co-design through close working with users, and on the transfer of knowledge and techniques from the centre and from designers who have been through the experience.
Though the main goal of these design collaborations goal is to change thinking and practice and build engagement within the design industry, the Challenge Workshops are also leading to new products and increasing the demand for inclusive design at the corporate level. This group of case studies is organised to demonstrate how inclusive design can shift thinking and practice across the full range of design disciplines.