To develop and present a design proposal that enhances independent living for older people and those with disabilities. The focus of the project should either be on independence within the home or mobility from the home. Design outcomes can take the form of a product, service, environment or visual communication. This brief is sponsored by the Department for Communities and Local Government, which is committed to building prosperous and cohesive communities that offer a safe, healthy and sustainable environment for all.
Astonishing, was the word design luminary Michael Wolff chose to describe the results of the 24 Hour Inclusive Design Challenge, one of the main attractions of Include 2007. Four teams of young designers received their brief on Monday 1 April at the first plenary session of the conference and were introduced to the disabled consumers who would work with them. They had just 24 hours to come up with an inclusive concept in response to the brief. On Tuesday evening, after little sleep but lots of coffee, pizza and creative adrenalin, they presented their projects at Imperial College. Most combined live performance with PowerPoint presentations and video to persuasively make their point, some produced short films. An appreciative and amazed audience of Include 2007 delegates decided the winner.
While the votes were being counted, Challenge patron Michael Wolff praised the teams that he had spent the day visiting. “I can’t imagine anyone having a more exhilarating or inspirational day than I had” he said “inclusivity is actually common sense, it’s being sociable where so much of design is about enabling isolation... I think we saw today the beginning of designers becoming like GPs – of actually thinking about other people, being in other people’s shoes and doing something that makes life better for other people, and if that is the destiny of the design business then I’m happy to be a designer.”
Hyphen Design was partnered with Sally and Robin, who live with rheumatoid arthritis, and focussed on their difficulties in travelling by bus. A team of RCA Alumni and friends from Edinburgh College of Art and Musashino Art University in Tokyo looked at the difficulties of way finding in unfamiliar areas experienced by Alison, a visually impaired therapist. Sprout Design, aided by Totem and Sarah Lloyd Design were paired with Sally, a visually impaired artist, and developed not one solution but two tools to aid her independence and working needs. Automotive designers Fenomenon worked with Susan, an older driver, to develop a new concept car aimed at senior citizens. Sprout Design won the popular vote with RCA Alumni and friends as runners-up.