Designing inclusion > = < inclusion of designers

Designing inclusion > = < inclusion of designers, a talk by Jasmien Herssens, Hasselt University, Belgium

Hosted by ERC Project and the Disability Research Centre. September 16th, 1600 to 1730, Location, PSH 326, Goldsmiths University of London

Design activism of the past 30 years has resulted into a more open minded attitude towards inclusion now. A cultural model arose in which (dis)ability is considered as an expertise. Although most architects are aware of the regulation on inclusion and some already believe in the relevance and importance of it, it is still quite paradoxical that designers of the built environment don’t know where to start in order to create inclusion. The actual goals regarding an inclusive outcome are often clear but little progress has been made within the design process in order to translate experiences of the users into an actual design language. Makers of the built environment are still required to imagine their ideas on inclusion in a very visual and abstract way that is often non inclusive to them. This presentation shows how the insights on research together with people who are blind, revealed an approach towards a design methodology translating actual user experiences into a usable design language. Furthermore, the outcome will not be stigmatizing or compromising on aesthetic quality (design). The talk questions the level of inclusion of our design ID-communication for the makers of the built environment. By considering it from the designers’ perspective this presentation offers a direction with attention for diversity in design methodologies. Designing inclusion asks for more inclusion for designers as they are users themselves of an inclusive design process.

Jasmien Herssens studied architecture at LUCA, school of arts in Ghent where she graduated in 2001. Afterwards Jasmien went to KULeuven to take a MAMA in architectural sciences. She worked as an architect for Ante-architecten in Saint-Nicolas and Wim Goes Architectuur in Ghent where she contributed to several award winning projects. In 2005 she started as a teacher in design methodology and architectural design at PHL university college. Jasmien is currently chairwoman of the research group at the Universal Design living lab in Hasselt and holds a tenure track position at Hasselt University. Jasmien teaches design methodology and coaches students in architectural studio and Master students in a seminar on Design for All. She represents Belgium in EIDD general assembly and is a representative for EIDD in EDF. Jasmien’s dream is to contribute to a better world by means of finding a small piece of the Inclusive Design puzzle.