For the first time in the Nordic region a design challenge on inclusive design will be held. This competition will challenge Nordic design teams to create inclusive designs within a 24 hour period during the conference.
The challenge participants will be organised into five teams, representing the Nordic countries: Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway (two teams). Each team will consist of a team leader, designers, students and a user representative. The designers will cover the disciplines of product and industrial design, service design, graphic design and interaction design.
At the challenge kick-off on Day One of the conference, the teams will be given an open-ended brief to give maximum creative freedom across the design disciplines.
After 24 hours, the teams will present their inclusive design results to all conference participants at a plenary session. They will then vote for two winners with prizes given for the best idea and the best presentation !
The purpose of the challenge is knowledge transfer between participants, the teams and the conference as a whole. This is done by raising awareness, challenging designers creatively and helping the participants to acquire new forms of expertise within the field of Inclusive Design. It is a unique opportunity to gather designers, industry and user organisations who have not worked together before, not the least in order to establish new and long-lasting networks.
The challenge is organised by the Norwegian Design Council in collaboration with the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centrewith chief facilitator Senior Research Fellow Julia Cassim. Professor Maria Benktzon from Ergonomidesign Sweden has been invited to act as patron and inspire the teams.
Much of Julia Cassim’s career has been spent in Japan where she went as a postgraduate sculpture scholarship student. She worked as arts columnist of The Japan Times, founded a non-profit organisation for visually impaired people working with them to increase cognitive and physical access to museum collections of art and artefacts and curated and designed award-winning exhibitions for audiences with visual impairments and learning disabilities documented in her book on the subject.
Returning to the UK in l998, she joined the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre at the Royal College of Art in 2000 where she is Senior Research Fellow. Since 2000, her research focus has been the involvement of disabled people in the design process as a spur to innovation and inclusive thinking and the development of knowledge transfer methodologies about inclusive design to the design and business communities.
She organises the annual DBA Inclusive Design Challenge and Workshops of shorter duration.
Maria is an active inclusive design practitioner at Ergonomidesign. For many years involved in pioneering work e.g. the first angled bread knife for Gustavsberg (in 74), the SAS coffee pot and the Beauty series for Etac. In 2000 Maria got the 1st Ron Mace Designing for the 21st Century Award and at Include 2005 she received a lifetime achievement award in recognition of achievements as a pioneer of inclusive design.
Ergonomidesign is one of the top ranking design firms in the world. Since 1969 they have helped clients from all over the world to penetrate markets, increase sales and build brands through appealing and innovative design of products and services. The success is based on deep user insights, gained over years and years of multi-disciplinary research into physical, cognitive and emotional ergonomics. Ergonomidesign have 60 specialists in areas such as industrial design, interaction design, inclusive design, design strategy, graphic design and human factors. Ergonomidesign work across a wide range of industry sectors and product categories - from cell phones to baby products to medical equipment. The head office is located in Stockholm and the company is also represented in London, Bern, Hong Kong and Tokyo.