11 APRIL 2013

Exploring the themes of inclusive design

Real-life context

The beauty of ‘Universal Design’ is that it uses examples from everyday life to help children easily relate to the concept of universal  design the design of products and services that are easy to use, easy to understand, and appealing for everyone. For example we explore how train carriages are designed to make access and use easy for all passengers.

The real-world elements really help children understand the importance of using universal design principles in designing products and environments and to consider different people’s needs. Children can explore which sectors of society may struggle with particular elements of a design, allowing the class leader to incorporate important PSHE themes.

Facilitating whole-class participation

Once children have developed an understanding of what constitutes universal design, they apply this knowledge to their own environment, becoming ‘design detectives’.

In groups, the children examine their school, identifying areas of universal and non-universal design. They are then asked to rate each area and report their findings back to the class. This element of the resource really lets children explore the issues of design and put the theory into practice. Getting the children out of the classroom to survey the school and give their own opinions really encourages everyone to contribute to the topic and gives the children a sense of ownership.

Encouraging an interest in STEM and Design

At Hitachi Europe, we are passionate believers in the power of well designed products to improve people’s lives. We recognise that products can only continue to evolve and improve if there is a solid base of talented people producing them. Our aim is that ‘Universal Design’ fires children with an enthusiasm for STEM and Design which they can take with them into Secondary education, and beyond, creating a new generation of designers.

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