Inclusive Design makes me happy

Hi there,

I am a recent Australian ID graduate living in London looking for work (!) but I thought I would post because I am yet to find any discussions on inclusive design or universal design. This is the area of design I feel passionately about and would love to hear from anyone else who digs it too.

I recently attended a very interesting lecture at the RCA about inclusive design which was held by a few guys from the UK and Amsterdam and the Head of the Helen Hamlyn institute. They put emphasis on the emotional needs that have to be satisfied by the solution as well as the physical needs. It seems that this is an area of design which people aren’t taught about in their courses. All my final two years of research were validated by these guys in one evening, which was refreshing given that I spent all that time wondering whether what I was doing was “real” design. None of my lecturers ever mentioned inclusive design, so I had to feel my way through the dark…

Anyway the disappointing thing is that the Helen Hamlyn post-grad course is only available to people graduating from the RCA post-grad which pretty much rules me out! I would love to get some experience working in this area, but it seems most consultancies either don’t know about it, or are keeping it on the down-low. As my friend told me the other day : I have specialised in the beige slippers of design!

I am sorta interested in a post-grad course to help me get into this area so if anyone has any ideas please let me know…

I guess if you went to the Helen Hamlyn lecture, you’ve met Rob Brown and Guy Robinson?

If not, here’s their website:

Remember, most post grad courses will give you considerable freedom to pursue the avenue you wish to. Inclusive design is extremely worthwhile, and it also makes financial sense, so although you may not see it explicitly advertised, many companies are engaged in it. If you can show you think and design in this way, people will take note. Not everyone wants to employ someone who can draw and model beautiful but unrealistic or uncommercial concepts!

read New Design magazine for some more ideas

Thanks Tom for your feedback.
Funnily enough I had an interview with Sprout last week for an internship (my 5th!!!) - not sure how it went yet, but it would be really nice to get a REAL paying job. Am thinking about perhaps doing a post-grad as I am sure I am more likely to get the jobs I want with a masters than I am with a bachelor degree. At the moment I am thinking about the masters in design research for disability at the London Metropolitan University starting in Sept. I don’t know anything about the reputation of the course etc and the guys from Sprout didn’t know of it. Do you? Ideally I would love to go to Helen Hamlyn, but I don’t think I have a chance as I would have to do a post-grad at the RCA first. Wonder if Roger Coleman would make an exception? Let me know what you think…