An exhibition featuring objects created collaboratively by designers and school children with disabilities launches in Birmingham next week.
Entitled Designing for Access, the exhibition features work by Johanna Van Daalen from Electric Wig, interaction designer and Royal College of Art fellow Jac Fennell, jewellery designer Noa Philips and product designer Robert Philips, who all worked in teams in tandem with students from Plantsbrook and Victoria Schools in Birmingham.
Tim Denton of Electric Wig and two students were jointly responsible for the exhibition design.
The teams set out to investigate inclusive design solutions that facilitate independence and address issues of access. Students worked alongside designers and were involved in the process, but designers were responsible for making final products.
Denton, who worked with a visually impaired student and a student in a wheelchair, says, ‘We looked at the exhibition space in terms of access and also considered colours and signage from a visual perspective. It helped me reconsider some elements that I take for granted.’
Work on display includes a Sod Off badge, created to give a physically disabled girl a greater degree of independence in her interactions with others, Padded Socks Magnifying Rings, a Tea Machine, and Draughts Board and Handbag.
Designing for Access was initiated by craft development agency Craftspace Touring and is funded by Birmingham City Council. The exhibition launches at Symphony Hall in Birmingham on 25 June, during next week’s Designers into Schools Week.