A decade of inclusive design: 2007-2008


’Slips, trips and turns’ was the theme suggested by the National Patient Safety Agency, the 2007 DBA Inclusive Design Challenge sponsor, which wanted to raise awareness of how lethal these can be for older and disabled people. The resulting design concepts ranged from Seymour Powell’s complex In-Balance, a full-body wearable monitoring and data-collection system, to Rodd Design’s beautifully simple carrying device called Lugga. Other shortlisted projects included the first-ever entries from the regions: Creactive’s Loadall, a device for transporting heavy goods in and out of cars; and Uniform’s Talkpad, an online learning resource. The winner was Go Steady by Wolff Olins, a public awareness campaign and kite-mark system to encourage greater awareness of mobility issues. The logo of an arrow and half-arrow was designed to suggest the ’m’ for mobility and also a helping hand. The symbol can be drawn or stamped on medical notes to signal a patient’s vulnerability to falling, or used on products that enhance mobility.


A key feature of the Challenge is how design teams adapt skills from one area to another in order to innovate. Judge Gill, the Manchester-based retail interiors consultancy, successfully applied its consumer expertise to the dementia care environment. ’Thanks for the memory’ was the theme of the 2008 Challenge, marking the start of a three-year relationship with Sanctuary Care, which broadened the ethnographic research so vital to the Challenge beyond user-forums to the many supported living schemes run by this leading care provider. Judge Gill’s Ormsthwaite House dementia care home shared the prize with Adare’s Mind Book, a multimedia software tool to encourage positive interactions between people with dementia, their families and carers. The simple, circular open plan of Ormsthwaite House was designed to reduce the isolation of linear corridors, allowing people with dementia to roam within a secure environment. Of the shortlist of six, two projects were subsequently implemented: Pearson Matthews’ Memory Clinics, a high street walk-in service to champion and monitor mental acuity, was taken up by the NHS; and FW Design’s dementia-specific wayfinding scheme, which can be seen in Romford.

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