The realisation that design is far too important to be left only to designers is a significant issue among design educators and designers. So its no surprise that there has been a notable change in the way designers create, approach a brief or problem. Evolving from working individually into a process that involves a more collaborative method of discovering, exchanging and understanding among a number of people that are not just designers. Such methods are now being largely taken up by various design communities, such as participatory design. IDEO's CEO, Tim Brown is well known for the discussion and championing of his thoughts on participatory design and various linking concepts in his book 'Change By Design'. With further contemplation and researching on this particular approach, it becomes evident that it is closely linked and is able to play a significant role in creating universal designs. I find this a very interesting concept that has been growing in popularity; in which the aim is to appeal to everyone and exclude none. It seemingly sounds like a difficult task, with the philosophy of designing a world that can be shared, accessible to all, regardless of ability, disability and age. This brings to me to question how attainable universal design is and the issues in chasing this goal. Thus this paper discusses and questions how so is the participatory design method suitable? What are the issues and if is this approach is effective to help create a product that can be acknowledged as a universal design?
The most well known definition of universal design is:
"The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design." (Mace, ...
... middle of paper ...
...s can help create a positive response for people visiting as they can be able to get a feeling of security that will come from having a better understanding of the place. Small details like these can be able to play a significant role in creating a beneficial inclusive environment, but the time required to go through and consider such a large range of different individual and factors can be of great complication and difficulty. By using this type of approach it definitely can be messy, more expensive and time consuming, so project delays are to be predicted. But it is possible that if handled and planned out well, the advantages of using this type of approach can easily outweigh the consequences. It's just a matter of understanding when and where participatory design is appropriate to use and keeping in mind how this method might not be suitable for all situations.
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