Tag Archives: industrial design

We need to design an elegant ending for mankind

In an exclusive interview, Paola Antonelli discusses the end of humanity, the idea of design reparations, and her exhibit “Broken Nature.”

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Universal Design for Who?

Pyramid describing various users who benefit from UA. The bottom of the pyramid includes agile users, as the pyramid moves up it illustrates examples of limitations that people start to face, including age, gender, culture and various life stages. The top of the pyramid is a person who might need the assistance of two other people to function optimally in an environment or to experience a service fully.

Written by Colette Fransolet of Inclusive Design

Colette Fransolet

Universal Design, which is the action (verb) of creating Universal Access (adjective), benefits a large percentage of our population. Universal Design, which can also be referred to as “good design” recognises that all people have different requirements and abilities, that would enable them to contribute fully in all spheres if life.

Universal Access responds to individual and shared needs and is not associated with “special” needs.

Therefore being cognisant and designing appropriately means considering the needs of children, elderly people, persons with mobility, sight and/or cognitive limitations, persons who have linguistic challenges (eg: foreigners, people who are uneducated or persons with various forms of dyslexia), women who are pregnant, parents pushing prams or strollers, persons who are inebriated, persons who have become obese, very tall people, very short people, service personnel (cleaning staff and people doing deliveries) and people who require luggage access. The crux of Universal Access is therefore that all people, at some point during their lifetime, will experience “disability” due to being unable to participate in a social, cultural, political or economic activity. It is therefore fundamental to the concept of UA that it be understood that it is not the person that has the disability or lack of function that prevents their participation, but rather that the environment, service, facility, information or system poses a disability onto a person.

These concepts are not new and are largely supported by well published experts in the field of Universal Design (such as W. Preiser and E. Ostroff (editors) of the Universal Design Handbook (2001), published in the USA by McGraw-Hill, and S. Goldsmith author of Universal Design: A manual of Practical Guidelines for Architects (2000) published in Oxford by Architectural Press).

Selwyn Goldsmith made valuable contribution of the understanding of Universal Design, and one such contribution was through the well published and commonly referenced drawing, called the “Universal Design Pyramid” (2000: 3), which demonstrates the bottom-up approach of UD, with the bottom row demonstrating fit and agile people and the top row demonstrating a person who would require the assistance of two other people. Goldsmith’s pyramid serves to illustrate people who are most vulnerable to architectural discrimination, which is consequently depicted by persons with mobility limitations, with the only exception being a person using a guide dog (in row 5 of the original pyramid).

Preiser and Ostroff (2001: Chapter 3.11) made the following statement, referring to the designing for people on either end of the age spectrum:

“As we struggle for a world that is seamlessly accessible, seamlessly supportive, and seamlessly caring, we must never forget that no machine will ever be able to replace the superior wisdom that comes only with age and experience.” And “neither should we forget that it is childhood that provides the foundation for that superior wisdom”

Working as a Universal Access Consultant and having the privilege to have experienced the process of understanding that many of my clients go through, I wanted to be able to use the concept of the pyramid from Goldsmith, but in the broader context. Often (in fact mostly) clients who would like to have a Universal Design Access Plan put in place to reach better BBBEE scores or to accommodate an employee who has become disabled, mostly consider people with mobility limitations as the only spectrum of people to accommodate when it comes to Universal Access. In order to overcome this limited understanding of the users, I have added to and slightly modified Goldsmith’s pyramid to be more inclusive of the spectrum of people who benefit from Universal Access, not only in the built environment but also through services, information and systems.

While the top of the pyramid is still defined by a person with a mobility limitation who requires the assistance of two people, the rest of the pyramid demonstrates the wider range of users of spaces, services and environments, including a range of functional abilities, cultural requirements, daily activities, a variation in age, health, communication and auditory requirements. The notion of the pyramid is that by designing for a particular row, the users below that row would also benefit from the resulting design, but that users above that row would be unable to function optimally in the design.

If you’d like to find out more about how to include various users in a space, service and environment, please visit https://www.inclusivedesign.co.za/, we’d love to hear from you. (This article, written by the author, is from https://www.inclusivedesign.co.za/universal-access-for-who)

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Design against the elderly

I wrote the book on user-friendly design. What I see today horrifies me
The world is designed against the elderly, writes Don Norman, 83-year-old author of the industry bible Design of Everyday Things and a former Apple VP.

>>Articulo traduzido al español por “Mayores de Hoy” en Diseño en contra…

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Young Designer Creates Cooking Tools For The Blind

Hey there, I learnt about this through ChannelNewsAsia’s Instagram account. While the title is self explanatory, it’s an interesting and inspiring video that gets people thinking about all the problems that could be solved by the talented individuals out there, if only we knew how to bring the two together. One comment on the video […]

via Young Designer Creates Cooking Tools For The Blind — Jaime consumes pop culture

No Designer Is an Island

No Designer Is an Island: Why Collaboration With Manufacturers Is Essential

I learned a lot about the relationship between designers and manufacturers before I even entered the field. My father worked as an architect, and I was often by his side as he went to visit job sites and collaborate with contractors. Even though my father designed the houses, he respected and invited questions, criticisms, and feedback from the builders he relied on. As a result, each finished project was more successful for everyone involved.

At the top level, product design works much the same way. The relationship between the designer and the manufacturer is paramount when you are producing a consumer product. And when we talk about designing and manufacturing truly innovative products where there’s no previous knowledge to fall back upon, that relationship becomes even more important.

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10 Design Free books

Domestika

Books in spanish and english.

It´s a great design network for Latin American Designers, both spanish and portuguese speakers.

VISIT: DOMESTIKA

Florence Knoll Bassett, Designer of the Modern American Office, Dies

 

Florence Knoll Bassett in 1961. For 20 years she was instrumental in building Knoll Associates into the largest and most prestigious high-end design firm of its kind.CreditCreditRay Fisher/The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images

 

Florence Knoll Bassett, a pioneering designer and entrepreneur who created the modern look and feel of America’s postwar corporate office with sleek furniture, artistic textiles and an uncluttered, free-flowing workplace environment, died on Friday in Coral Cables, Fla. She was 101.

Her death was announced by David E. Bright, a spokesman for Knoll Inc., the company she and her husband Hans Knoll ran for many years.

To connoisseurs of Modernism, the mid-20th-century designs of Florence Knoll, as she was known, were — and still are — the essence of the genre’s clean, functional forms. Transcending design fads, they are still influential, still contemporary, still common in offices, homes and public spaces, still found in dealers’ showrooms and represented in museum collections.

Ms. Knoll learned her art at the side of Modernist masters. She was a protégé of the German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Eliel Saarinen, the Finnish architect and teacher and the father of the architect Eero Saarinen. And she worked with the renowned Bauhaus architects Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Throughout her career, influenced by the German Bauhaus school of design, she promoted the Modernist merger of architecture, art and utility in her furnishings and interiors, especially — although not exclusively — for offices.

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