Sustainable design came to occupy pole position alongside inclusive design as the decade drew to a close. The prize-winning ’mo dynamic seating by Matter, which replaces the traditional cushion with a radical new design, brilliantly took on both areas in response to the 2009 brief of ’sedentary lives’ and showed how the two were entirely compatible. Developed with client Herman Miller, the cushion consists of a polymer spring matrix sandwiched between two identical mouldings of linked pixels. Each pixel conforms to the user’s weight, adapting to micro movements, distributing body mass evenly and crucially allowing people to fidget – a major consideration for those seated for long periods. With its open structure, it can be rinsed, soaked and disinfected, a critical issue in a care home. A strong shortlist included BWA Design’s Get Up and Grow campaign to encourage teenagers and elderly people to grow food together, which would go on to win the Cardiff Design Festival Award, and Rodd Design’s Divide Equally tools for preparing, serving and storing the correct amounts of food, two concepts of which would be developed for production by Lakeland.
This year’s DBA Inclusive Design Challenge addressed the brief of ’active ageing’ as the Department of Work and Pensions joined Sanctuary Care in supporting an initiative that has clocked up 51 projects over the decade, with 500 designers taking part. 1HQ proposed an adaptive surface called Move based on emerging technologies, Epitype created an awareness campaign to address the issue of ageism in the workplace, and BWA Design proposed Footnote – a system to help the digitally excluded to fill in official forms online. The winner was Sage & Onions: The Experience Exchange, by Clinic. This national, not-for-profit communications initiative would enable different age groups to exchange advice and experiences through local bartering networks and events. It was second-time lucky for Clinic, which had entered the previous year with a lively campaign.