Dr Hua Dong, who has worked with the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design on the i-design research programme, directs the inclusive design researchunit at Brunel University. She is currently on a sabbatical year and is a visiting Professor at the College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University where she has introduced inclusive design into the curriculum. Industrial design students, including visiting Italian students who are following the dual degree programme Tongji runs with Milan Polytechnic.
Senior Research Fellow Julia Cassim was invited to Shanghai to devise a module based on the Challenge Workshops programme. The aim was to allow Italian and Chinese students to work with design partners and gain insights that will help them design more effectively.
Over the course of Julia Cassim's visit, she set the ten groups of students inclusive design-related tasks, and asked them to find design partners who had a different economic position, educational background or ability to themselves, and to document a day in their life. After this they were asked to design a product or service that would radically improve the lives of their design partner.
The teams spread out across Shanghai, some visiting retired people in their homes while others worked with parcel and water bottle delivery men and a bus conductor. The resulting range of solutions were ingenious and life-enhancing.
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