The aim of Inclusive Design, according to RICA (Research Institute
for Consumers Affairs), is ‘to
design mainstream products and services so as many people
as possible can use them’.
The Future Foundation predicts that between
2000 and 2020, the over 50s age group in the UK will increase
in size by approximately 20% whereas the number of under 50s
will reduce by roughly 10%. By this time, almost 50% of Europe’s
adult population will be over 50. In Britain alone, people
aged over fifty already have a combined annual income in excess
of £160 billion. One in seven of Britain’s population
are classed as disabled. This group is estimated to have an
annual spending power of £50 billion.
Many products are currently designed by
young people and with a young market in mind. By not considering
whether older or disabled people would be able to use products,
these people can be (unwittingly) excluded. Disability is
not a minority issue - everyone’s ability naturally
reduces as they age. Most older and disabled people do not
consider themselves to have different needs, they want to
purchase mainstream products like everyone else.
Inclusive design is not for older or disabled
people, it is for everyone.
It is useful
to note that a product which
looks like it is for older or
disabled people will exclude
the young, or the more able
sector of the market. It will
also exclude a proportion of
older and disabled people who
do not want to feel disabled
or elderly. This sort of design
is not inclusive and at Sprout
we avoid it. Rather than being
a speciality minority practice,
it is expected that all design
will become more and more inclusive
as the population ages.
Ergo-trowel for SKC. The shape of the handle of this trowel was developed from user research with older and less able people but the resulting design is better for everyone.
It gives two additional means of applying a forward force to dig into the ground - firstly by using the arch between thumb and first finger and secondly using the palm of the hand on the end of the handle.