Designing with people can create wealth, innovation and social justice, as user participation and co-creation methods move up the development agenda. That was one of the key messages to emerge from Include 2007, the fourth international conference on inclusive design that attracted more than 150 design researchers to the Royal College of Art, London, 1-4 April.
Delegates representing education, business, design and policy came from 16 different countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, the UK and USA – to discuss all aspects of human-centred design.
Over the three days of Include 2007 there were 62 academic papers, 32 posters and five workshops, plus a host of fringe events to add further richness and animation to the proceedings. These included three Breakfast Briefings, a 24 Hour Inclusive Design Challenge, a RSA exhibition of student projects, an evening seminar of industry work by the Helen Hamlyn Research Associates and a Methods Tree that ‘grew’ during the conference.
Welcoming delegates to London, RCA Rector Professor Sir Christopher Frayling described the Include network as ‘a source of intellectual nourishment and design inspiration’. Five leading practitioners in the field were invited to give keynote addresses: Clive Grinyer of Orange France Telecom, Jane Fulton Suri of IDEO, Stephen Wilcox of Design Science, David Constantine of Motivation and Paula Dib of Trans.forma, Brazil.
Include 2007 was sponsored by the Audi Design Foundation. According to Audi development manager Mike Dennis, ‘Inclusive design is so easy to get passionate about and we’ve seen plenty of passion and ideas from around the world at this conference. We’re delighted to be associated with this ground-breaking event.’
The positive mood was reflected in the views of conference rapporteur Stephen Wilcox, who observed: ‘At previous Includes, designers and researchers just talked to themselves. Now everybody is collaborating!’