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Sustaining inclusive design collaboration through co-design platforms

“Sustaining inclusive design collaborations through co-design platforms” is a UK-Turkey collaborative project sponsored by the Newton Fund, British Council. Professor Hua Dong applied for the project as the UK PI with Dr Abdusselam Selami Cifter (Turkey PI), together with Co-Is from Loughborough University and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. The project aimed to create a mechanism that would support and sustain collaborations on inclusive design research and education.

The project objectives included:

  • To increase awareness of inclusive design by creating a comprehensive resource.
  • To create a collaborative design mechanism and introduce a curriculum approach for university students to engage with inclusive design.
  • To develop an online platform to encourage the communication and share of inclusive design knowledge and good practices.

Five partners from Turkey and the UK participated in the project, i.e., the Six Dots Foundation for the Blinds, The Spinal Cord Paralytics Association of Turkey, FixEd, Cambridge Engineering Design Centre and the Design Research Society, representing different types of organisations from education to research, as well as organisations that work in the disability sector.

The project resulted in a collaboration model between universities and NGOs and a web platform to build and sustain effective collaborations, making their process and results visible to other stakeholders.

The project outcomes are published in the book “Inclusive Design + Social Innovation: A Methodology and Case Studies” (2021) comprising four parts:

  • Part 1 (chapters 1-4) provides academic perspectives on inclusive design, co-creation, social innovation and social responsibility.
  • Part 2 (chapters 5-7) focuses on the collaboration model that links Universities and NGOs for effective partnership on inclusive design.
  • Part 3 illustrates 14 inclusive design projects.
  • Part 4 presents a comprehensive list of resources on inclusive design and accessibility.

The book is freely downloadable in ePub versions (in English and Turkish) and PDF format from


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Hua Dong
Professor Hua Dong - Hua Dong is Professor and Head of Brunel Design School. Her research expertise is inclusive design. She is the convenor of the Inclusive Design Research Special Interest Group (InclusiveSIG) at the Design Research Society (DRS), and has been an organiser of the Cambridge Workshop for Universal Access and Assistive Technology since 2014.      Dong has contributed to the creation and development of several successful research groups in the UK and China. She established the Inclusive Design Research Group at Brunel University London. Their research contributed to the  Design Council’s ‘Design Bugs Out’ Challenge, with successful products on market and exhibition at the Design Museum. Dong also founded the Inclusive Design Research Centre in China. They edited the ‘Inclusive design column’ for the ‘Design’ magazine (2020), and helped create the inclusive design guidance for Ant Financial. Their inclusive co-creation projects with community centres at Yangpu District were selected for exhibition at the Milan Triannual (2019). Dong was invited to give keynote/invited speeches on inclusive design at the Universal Design Conference Oslo (2012), UD Conference Fukuoka (2012), Nordic Design Week (2015, 2016), Hohai University (2015), Fudan University (2015), Chongqing University (2015), Beihang University (2017), NorthEast University (2018) and IEID of the International Forum on Innovation and Emerging Industries Development (2019). She has been invited to provide specialist consultancy to Which? (A UK consumer magazine) Reckitt Benkiser, Active Life Village, Shanghai M&G Stationery Inc., Zhida Technology, Cam Scanner, Ant Financial and the Government (e.g. Nanjing) and Charities (e.g. AgeUK). Dong is on the Peer Review College of AHRC since 2019. She was Principal Investigator of the EPSRC grant ‘Facilitating Wider Uptake of Inclusive Design’ and successfully co-applied Newton Funds (sponsored by AHRC, British Council) as the partner country’s PI and has won prestigious fellowship awards. She was Co-I of EPSRC and KTP projects and won a number of industry-funded projects both in the UK and China. In 2020, she initiated, together with Dr Cifter, the UK-Turkey collaboration on inclusive design, leading to the publication of the book “Inclusive Design+ Social Innovation” (2021). She also designed the film ‘evolving inclusive design’ ( Dong was awarded PhD Degree from the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. She gained a BEng in Industrial Design and MArch in Architectural Design and Theory from Tongji University. Dong has been Professor in Design at Brunel University London, Tongji University, and Loughborough University. Dong was appointed International Judge of the SDGs Design International Awards (2019). She was Council Member of the Design Research Society (DRS) from 2012-2020, and was elected Fellow of DRS in 2019.    

Related Research Group(s)


Design for Sustainability - We focus on developing the theory and practice required to design solutions that foster environmental, socio-ethical and economic sustainability in areas ranging from materials and manufacturing to products, services, business models, bottom-up initiatives and socio-technical systems.

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Inclusive Design - Inclusive Design Research Group at Brunel University London brings together multidisciplinary expertise to understand different factors causing exclusion, to develop methods and interventions for improvement, and to advance the knowledge of design for inclusion.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 02/10/2023