Toolkit for awareness in universal design

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceedingpeer-review


In an attempt to make universal design an integral part of industrial design in general, an
experiment was implemented early during the industrial design education. The aim of the
experiment was to increase the awareness of the students regarding the fact that products
may at the same time be attractive and well-functioning for a broad range of users. Five
categories of everyday products were included in the experiment, objects in each category
covering the range from stylish or sporty to products designed especially for disabled
persons. Twenty-five students took part in the experiment in five groups. They tried the
objects in true use situations and were asked to, in consensus, evaluate and comment on
three mainly emotional and three mainly functional qualities. After testing, they analysed,
presented and reflected around their results. Finally they were asked to group all objects in
any kind of families. The presentations by the students demonstrated that very lively
discussions had taken place about product qualities. The evaluation method provided rich
information about young persons’ experiences of qualities in products. At the final grouping
of products, the students chose to present objects as being related to different target users.
One interesting finding was that the product family aiming at a very average user included an
angled kitchen knife, product of a kind previously regarded a typical aid for disabled.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventInclude 2005 3th International Conference on Inclusive Design - Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, London.
Duration: 0001 Jan 2 → …


ConferenceInclude 2005 3th International Conference on Inclusive Design
Period0001/01/02 → …

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Design

Free keywords

  • industrial design.
  • design education
  • Universal design
  • inclusive design


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