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Design for All Newsletter issue on 'Sustaining Inclusive Design Collaboration through Co-design platforms' (Nov, 2020). In this newsletter, many of the participants of the SIDe Programme have reflected on their experiences of inclusive design collaboration. The 11 articles cover both university and NGO perspectives, with a focus on the SIDe programme and extending to good practice (in teaching, and in collaboration) and theory on value creation and value re-distribution.
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As an ethical design approach embedding with the human value of inclusiveness, inclusive design could contribute to economic value creation. However, research on the relationship between economic value and human values in inclusive design has seldom been explored. This preliminary literature review focuses on how value and values have been discussed in inclusive design research. The findings first present the evolving conceptions of inclusive design that formulate and transform the understanding of value and values. Then, existing literature on the economic value of inclusive design, and inclusive design for human values at both individual and social levels are reviewed respectively. We categorize these disparate discussions into ‘value creation’ and ‘value distribution’ and propose opportunities for an integrated approach that would bridge discussions on the economic value and human values in future research.
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Users and contexts in human-computer interaction systems often have great diversity, which limits the inclusion provided by a single design. Existing user-sensitive design and contextual design methodologies have made useful attempts to pay attention to diversities, but they still cannot provide sufficient design basis for adapting to dynamically changing user capabilities, needs and usage contexts. Based on the analysis of the interaction between the behavior model and various elements in the human-computer system, this paper constructs a contextualized user-sensitive design framework, and studies the diversity and changing factors in the human-computer system from the two basic dimensions of the user and the context. In order to reflect the multi-dimensional dynamic characteristics of users, the authors propose a new user research and analysis tool, the generalized user balance sheet, for user-sensitive design, and takes a questionnaire case to reveal the huge differences of users’ needs in different contexts. Based on the contextualized user-sensitive design framework, this paper shows the basic methods and essential system elements of user-sensitive design and contextualized design, as well as the possibility of combining the two for inclusive design.
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The static data obtained from user research are not sufficient to accurately reflect the change of the user's needs and capabilities in different situations. Not paying enough attention to the economic feasibility of design solutions makes inclusive design face challenges in commercialization. In this paper, the user's demand is regarded as a function of the dynamic interaction between the user's own characteristics and the environment. The inclusion problem is defined from an economic perspective. By distinguishing the stages before and after the delivery of a product (or service), different economic properties of the product are defined. Then the two stages are analysed from the perspective of investment and consumption respectively, and the competition criterion of inclusivity distribution and the reasons for exclusion are deduced. According to the causes of different problems in the two stages, the research direction of inclusive solutions is pointed out, and the economical sustainability of inclusive design is analysed. This paper emphasizes that the goal of inclusive design lies not only in the partial and temporary elimination of exclusion, but also in how to distribute the freedom of choice.
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Blindspots in Economics and Design is a review of John Heskett's Design and the Creation of Value (2017). Importantly, the book cogently examines five economic theories and presents diagrammatic interpretation of their foci, contrasts, and evolutions. Building on previous diagrams, a proposed Value Creation Theory visually locates design in the economic-business context. Blindspots are identified with reference to how design perceives economics, and the converse, how economics perceives design. Shortcomings in design education are discussed with regard to economics, business, and the rapidly changing technological context in which we live and work. Emerging economic theory that overlaps economics and psychology, behavioral economics, may offer insight and the possibility of collaborative investigation to more securely locate the economic contribution of design.
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Inclusive design approaches like universal design prescribe addressing the needs of the widest possible audience in order to consider human differences. Taking differences seriously, however, may imply that “the widest possible audience” is severely restricted. In confronting this paradox, we recruit Rawls’ theory of justice as fairness. Applying Rawls’ principles to universal design implies that users derive which design allows for equitable use by deliberating under a veil of ignorance concerning their own capacities or limitations. Rather than addressing everyone’s needs, being designed universally then means matching what everyone would choose under the condition sketched. Since this can hardly apply to single artefacts, we suggest considering the social distribution of usability as the proper domain of fairness in design instead. Under this reading, just design concerns how usability is distributed across relevant users. Differences in usability are acceptable if overall usability for the worst offs is maximized.
Article
This paper studies the relationship between design and architectural research and questions whether these can be viewed as separate disciplines. It presents an historical review of how this relationship has changed over 40 years. Several interventions, including research assessment, provide a motive to identify architecture as a discipline, however locating a unique ‘architectural’ element continues to be problematic. This argument advances this debate noting that recent changes, understanding design as movement for societal change and the involvement of non-academics (researcher/practitioners) in practice-based research, open up new epistemic vantage points. In particular it is at the intersection of architectural design research (ADR) and detailed design studies of architects at work that new ways of constructing architectural and designerly knowledge emerge.