Design for inclusion is about creating spaces for all people. Inclusive spaces that enable everyone to live and thrive. Spaces that promote equity, participation and wellbeing. Spaces that provide comfort, ease of use, awareness, and understanding. That respect and satisfy people of all ages, races, cultures, identities, and abilities.
With inclusion comes a sense of belonging and a connection to others and our surroundings.
Inclusive design is an approach that focuses on the full range of human diversity and our vast human needs. It considers ways in which these needs intersect, offering the opportunity to problem solve, innovate and explore solutions which can benefit a broader cross section of people because their diverse experiences have been included in the design process.
When we think about design, we need to think about the dynamic capabilities of the human body as well as the human mind. There are a range of varying abilities that impact our interactions with the built environment – from differences in physical mobility, hearing, vision, strength, stature, cognition and other disabilities.
In the built environment industry, there continues to be a significant gap between how spaces are designed and a significant segment of the market that is underserved. In these pages, we explore a number of inclusive design concepts that we have implemented and demonstrated throughout our multi-disciplinary global portfolio.
The physical journey considers a variety of functional design attributes relating to the differences of the human body and individual experiences. We believe everyone should be able to navigate through a space with ease, comfort and confidence – regardless of their strength, stature or dexterity.
Sensory perception is the use of the various senses in our possession (either hearing, vision, taste, touch or smell) to gain a better understanding of the world around us and to enjoy the built environment.
The built environment can affect all of our emotions, understanding and awareness. Neurodiversity and varying cognitive differences including learning, attention, mood and other psychological functions, can significantly affect how an individual responds to their surroundings.
Identity refers to the qualities, beliefs, personality traits, appearance and/or expressions that characterise a person or group. These can include (but are not limited to): a person’s race, ethnicity, culture, beliefs, gender, and age.
Community is about having a sense of belonging and connection to others. The global pandemic has taught us that we are less happy when socially disconnected from our family, friends, and local community. A lack of real connects to others can result in feelings of social isolation and loneliness which can negatively impact human health and wellbeing. The same can be said for feeling excluded.