Design that makes a difference:
People-centred projects from Norway and the UK
The Design that makes a difference exhibition showcasing 20 inclusive design projects from the UK and Norway, including Gov.uk and the Olympic Park, is on loan in Cambridge between 8-12 July 2013 from the London Royal College of Art. The projects, demonstrating the benefits of people-centred design thinking across sectors, range from passenger trains and hotel chains to government websites, voting systems and community-led initiatives.
The inclusive design approach works most effectively when activated at all levels – within local communities and neighbourhoods, within business organisations and through public services. These projects represent a cross-section of work that puts people first, meets social need, influences business practice and effects positive change.
Open afternoon: 8 July 2013 in Lecture Room 3, Inglis Building, Department of Engineering
Scandic Oslo Airport Hotel, Norway
When building a new hotel at Oslo international airport, the Scandic hotel chain used inclusive design to distinguish itself in the competitive tourism and travel sector. Guests can enjoy a chic yet functional interior, allergy-friendly materials, easy wayfinding and a more comfortable, welcoming experience.
Tuva Cutlery, Norway
Hardanger Bestikk made inclusive design a priority when developing a new cutlery design. Grip styles and dexterity emerged as a strong focus when cutlery users became involved. The designs are made of metal retaining a luxury, mainstream feel. They massively oversold at launch in 2009.
Think Electric Car, Norway
This project focused on how people-centred research can trigger new ideas and innovation by presenting user insights in a simple but communicative way. Working with 15 people to understand their mobility needs and aspirations gave a rich picture of their lives for Think designers to be inspired by.
NorDan Windows for All, Norway
In a project initiated by the Norwegian Design Council, designers worked closely with window manufacturer NorDan to innovate through people-centred research. The project helped open up a dialogue with end users and resulted in a number of outcomes from small improvements to entirely new products.
BT Big Button Phone, UK
The iconic Big Button range of inclusively designed phones for people of all ages and abilities highlights BT's longstanding engagement with inclusive design. Working since 1992 with design consultancy The Alloy, several generations of phone have been produced, all embodying a people-centred approach.
Nestlé Inclusive Packaging, UK
Small design changes can make a large difference to the consumer experience, and this philosophy is part of the Nestlé inclusive design process. Working with Cambridge University and Georgia Tech Institute, Nestlé designers are using these methods to improve customer satisfaction and drive business success.
Weather forecast website www.yr.no, Norway
This weather website presents complicated data in a more understandable way. The content-rich pages were the first in the world to provide user-friendly, large-scale, detailed and hourly forecasts. The design has become a blueprint for presenting and communicating other web-based weather forecasts.
Margarinfabrikken Kindergarten, Norway
A historic factory building protected under Norwegian law presented unique challenges when it was converted to a kindergarten and outdoor space for a local community in Oslo. The result demonstrates how a restoration project can be enhanced by inclusive design when integrated into the process.
Ode encourages care home residents experiencing dementia to eat by using scent to reconnect people with food. It releases high quality, appetising food aromas - from Bakewell tarts to oranges - into living spaces and dining rooms around meal times. The design stimulates appetite, targeting malnutrition.
Fixperts links designers who are good at problem-solving and fixing, with people who need a little help in their lives with something such as buttoning clothes or reaching into the back of a fridge. The process is filmed and uploaded to Fixperts.org, creating a community resource of simple, inexpensive fixes.
Lighting Urban Communities, UK
City lighting is unevenly distributed leaving many local neighbourhoods underlit. This creative approach to lighting allowed residents on the Boundary Estate in East London to reclaim the street after dark. At the heart of it is a tubular LED lighting system that can be retrofitted into existing street furniture.
The Amazings, UK
The Amazings is a new service that enables elders with amazing life experience to share their skills with others in the community by holding classes and courses in informal settings such as pub backrooms or coffee shops. Anyone over 50 with knowledge to share can sign up, teach a class and be paid to do so.
Government Voting System: Blanke Ark, Norway
An inclusively designed election system that makes it easier for everyone to participate in democracy by reconsidering the ways that votes are cast. Everything from booths to ballot papers have been reimagined to allow people with different needs and abilities to access polling stations.
NSB Flirt Public Train, Norway
Inclusive design was key to procurement and production of a new national train. Involving a wide range of people throughout the process resulted in attractive, accessible solutions for everyone, from flexible spaces to accommodate wheelchairs and luggage, to contrasting colours and tactile surfaces.
Rogaland Passenger Ferry, Norway
Applying inclusive design to the design of passenger ferries proved a challenge especially as specifications did not exist. These had to be worked out on the job and lay the groundwork for the design of the popular catamaran that is in use today. Passengers of all abilities find the boat extremely easy to use.
The recently launched, public services, online portal for the UK government is designed with citizens in mind. It is based on 10 people-centred design principles and addresses around 950 user needs. It incorporates all government departments from the Foreign Office to the Ministry of Defence.
South Bank Riverside Walk, UK
This improvement of London's South Bank for the 2012 Olympic Games shows how a historic area can become more inclusive and accessible whilst still maintaining its character. Four areas along the Thames were redesigned to allow for greater numbers of pedestrians and include those with reduced mobility.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, UK
Maintaining the inclusive design legacy of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is an important challenge for the London Legacy Development Corporation as it develops the site into new lifetime neighbourhoods and transforms existing venues following 'the most accessible Games ever'.
Emergency Ambulance, UK
A redesign of the interior of the emergency ambulance resulting in improved infection and stock control, more efficient treatment and better access to patients due to a repositioned stretcher. Co-designing with paramedics, patients, clinicians and engineers resulted in a full-size demonstrator prototype.
Schandorff's Urban Public Space, Norway
This new winding walkway and modern park in central Oslo was transformed from a nondescript car park into a social space for the neighbourhood. The square has allergy-friendly planting and is convenient for all, including those using pushchairs, bicycles or wheelchairs. It is elegant and accessible.