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Our expertise

The Inclusive Design Research Group carries out research on how various stakeholders, different disciplines and emerging technologies help contribute to more inclusive design processes and outcomes, so as to benefit the widest possible audience.

Key areas of our research include:

Inclusive design philosophy and theories

This explores why inclusion is important for designed products, environments, services and systems, and how different theories and models in design, economics, social sciences, engineering, psychology, marketing, ethics, post-phenomenology help build and extend the knowledge base of inclusive design.

Inclusive design processes and methods

This is a study of how designers use information; how users play a role in the design process and their relationships with designers (e.g. design for the user, design with the user, design by the user); what methods facilitate a more participatory, collaborative design process so that different perspectives are taken into account and well balanced.

Enabling technologies and their roles for inclusion

Technologies such as 3D printing, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) bring opportunities for better design inclusion, for example, 3D printing has made be-spoke prototyping quick and affordable; IoT provides means for remote control of personal environments, and AI makes low-cost personalisation possible. We will study how these technologies can be better utilised to create inclusive solutions.

Design education

Inclusive design has implications for design education, for example, the knowledge of design exclusion and diverse and dynamic user capabilities and needs, the skills of facilitating co-design with different stakeholders, and the competence of making informed decisions. Making future design curriculum inclusive is also an important topic. These aspects will be investigated through pedagogical research and case studies contributing towards the design curriculum for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

Inclusive design application

Inclusive design can be applied to product design, communication design, environments, interactions and product-service systems. It can be adopted in different cultural contexts (e.g. co-design with disabled communities, design for the ageing society, design for social innovation). We apply methods and tools in different application areas and develop generalisable principles and models for better dissemination and wider adoption.