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Definitions

Here we present some of the most common definitions of Inclusive Design and Architecture processes. There are other terms that are sometimes used in relation to Inclusive Design and architecture processes and methods. These include Design Thinking, Co-design, People-centred Design, User-focused  Design and Trans-generational Design, Co-creation, urban participation, citizen involvement.

Davinci

The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Da Vinci captures idealised, average proportions. Inclusive Design recognises our differences as the concept of the “avarage person” holds less and less credibility.

INCLUSIVE DESIGN 

Defined in 2000 by the UK Government as “products, services and environments that include the needs of the widest number of consumers”. Its a history stretching back to the social ideals in Europe that materialised after World War II. Inclusive Design goes beyond the needs of older and disabled people to focus on those of other excluded groups. It can be adopted in conjunction with Design Thinking.

INCLUSIVE ARCHITECTURE

A less common term that is defined here as “architectural processes that include the needs and aspirations of the widest number of people”.

UNIVERSAL DESIGN

This term originated in the United States, and has now been adopted by Japan and the Pacific Rim region. Its original focus was on disability and the built environment. Driven by the significant number of disabled Vietnam War veterans, it was modelled on the Civil Rights Movement.

DESIGN FOR ALL

As highlighted by the European Commission, Design for All is about ensuring that environments, products, services and interfaces work for people of all ages and abilities in different situations and under various circumstances. This term is used in continental Europe and Scandinavia. There are other terms that are sometimes used in relation to Inclusive Design processes and methods. These include Design Thinking, Co-design, People-centred Design, User-focused Design and Trans-generational Design. The Glossary for further information.