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Finalists in the Design for All Foundation Awards 2013

Project undertaken by a not-for-profit organisation


Logo The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design

Redesign of the UK emergency ambulance

Organisation: Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art

Country: United Kingdom

This project redesigned the emergency ambulance in order to improve the patient experience and enhance clinical efficiency. Using a co-design process, a multidisciplinary team developed and evaluated proposals to meet current and future needs. The resulting design addresses the need for a standardised, intuitive treatment space which improves the safety of patients and medical staff by designing out error, reduces injury through better ergonomics and allows stock levels and infection risk to be controlled. In addition, intuitive user-interface design aims to ensure easier diagnostics, communications and data transfer for staff, regardless of their experience with information technology (IT).



Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I'DGO)

Organisation: I'DGO consortium

Country: United Kingdom

I'DGO is an academic project funded by the United Kingdom's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council which investigates the connections between getting outdoors and quality of life. Project findings reported in 2012 showed that the ability to get out and about impacts significantly on quality of life, that there are many environmental barriers to day-to-day access for all and that inclusive urban design and joined-up policy making have the potential to improve outcomes, making a positive difference to people's lives, regardless of age, ability or background.

The project’s coordinators highlight the rigorousness of the research, using analyses based on large population samples which provide detailed contributions to the design of public space. Since the launch of the findings, the consortium has contributed towards the development of policy, raised public awareness of age-friendly placemaking and produced guidance for professionals.

Logo Andere Augen

Multisensory guidebook on the Dutch "Golden Age"

Organisation: Andere Augen and Blinden- und Sehbehinderten-Vereins Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Country: Germany

This multisensory guidebook opens up new ways of perceiving fine art, allowing visitors to experience the 17th-century artworks on display at the Staatliches Museum Schwerin whether they are sighted, visually impaired or blind. Eight paintings were reproduced and digitally edited for the book: the visual contrast was increased to provide enhanced visibility and reliefs were created for a tactile experience, while explanatory texts in Braille and standard print provide background information. The attractive design makes the guide interesting as much to the general visiting public as to visually impaired visitors. As well as being instructive in how to create accessible museum experiences, it also provides a useful tool to complement exercises which form part of museum education in schools, such as image description or image analysis.

Project undertaken by a government or other public body


Logo Senatsverwaltung Berlin

Berlin's talking tactile model

Organisation: Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt in cooperation with Technische Universität Berlin

Country: Germany

This tactile model of Berlin provides visitors with a multisensory experience of the city. Involving blind and visually impaired users in the development process from the outset and building several prototypes for testing meant both that end-users were happy with the results and that architecture students were made aware of the need of designing for all citizens. A 1:2000 model was produced in lifelike materials, with landmarks being highlighted by being reproduced at a scale of 1:500 and featuring light / dark contrast. The model also uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to provide audible and written information on 140 points of interest, providing background information and facilitating orientation.

Logo Technische Universität Berlin

Tactile guide and three models for the Reichstag building

Organisation: Institut für Architektur, Technische Universität Berlin in cooperation with the Deutsche Bundestag

Country: Germany

This research, development and design project sought to provide a multisensory experience not only of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, in Berlin, but of the "views" from the building's top-floor spiral platform. A user-centred development process was adopted, involving blind and visually impaired users. Three tactile models representing the building, the parliamentary and government district and the connection between the dome and plenary chamber were produced, in materials which recreate the temperature and surface sensation of the actual buildings. In addition, the project produced an aesthetically pleasing shoulder bag containing 11 tactile reliefs to represent the views from the top, supplemented by information being provided via the audio guide.


Logo Gobierno de Aragon

Aragonese Augmentative and Alternative Communication Portal (ARASAAC)

Organisation: Departamento de Educación, Universidad, Cultura y Deporte, Gobierno de Aragón

Country: Spain

An augmentative and alternative communication system, ARASAAC facilitates communication for people faced with difficulties in this area through graphic materials. Comprising more than 13,000 pictograms, the project was funded by the Government of Aragon and developed in cooperation with end-users. The resulting communication system is distributed under a Creative Commons licence, ensuring a wide take-up by a large number of organisations who use the communication system across various media and within different contexts such as education, health, welfare, communications, wayfinding, leisure and culture.

Logo Local Government Unit of New Lucena

Construction of accessible features using local materials

Organisation: Local Government Unit of New Lucena, Iloilo

Country: Philippines

Implemented by a fourth-class municipality in the Philippines, this project aimed to improve accessibility for all residents in the area. A holistic approach was adopted, with different committees focusing on data monitoring, capacity building, advocacy, networking and environmental accessibility. Using low-cost local materials such as wood and bamboo, the LGU installed facilities such as ramps, accessible toilets and pathways in government-owned facilities and, by creating ordinances and providing advice, encouraged the private sector to do likewise. Prior to construction, a mock-up exercise was conducted, where disabled people were invited to try out the planned facilities and provide recommendations for improvement.

Logo UD Woonlabo

UD Woonlabo

Organisation: Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg and Toegankelijkheidsbureau

Country: Belgium

As a response to the need to support people to live more independently using Design for All solutions, this project created a Universal Design (Design for All) Living Lab. UD Woonlabo (Universal Design Living Lab) has two main functions: first, it will provide a demonstration space where the latest inclusive-design solutions can be experienced and where manufacturers can test innovations in collaboration with researchers and user-experts. Second, it offers a setting for interdisciplinary research, which will then feed into workshops and courses on Design for All. In addition, the lab will also assist accessibility centres in providing advice. An inclusive, participatory approach was adopted for the design and build of the centre, involving users and being informed by expert advice.

Project undertaken by a private company or professional


Logo Iam design Oy

Hyvän Mielen Pihapolku

Organisation: iam design Oy

Country: Finland

Hyvän Mielen Pihapolku (The Path of Joy) is a collaborative project with residents and staff of two assisted-living homes in Finland to transform an underused courtyard into a welcoming outdoor space. The co-design process used different means to engage users, including interviews, workshops, an initial concept, a wall where participants could express their wishes and the use of an observation camera. The end result provides a context-specific response which takes into account, for example, the challenges posed by seasonal conditions in Finland. The layout is designed to be safe, easy to use and understandable as well as flexible, with adjustable elements and areas for both sociable and solitary activities. As well as requiring minimal maintenance, the design stipulates the use of sustainable materials and makes the most of its natural setting.


Logo ProAsolutionsPT

Accessibility Web Geographic Information System (AWG)


Country: Portugal

AWG is an internet platform based on an Open Source database which allows citizens and local governments to manage accessibility information relating to the public realm, public buildings, facilities, public services and transportation. Citizens can automatically generate itineraries which are best adapted to their needs, while the local authority can use the platform in conjunction with the development and management of an integrated accessibility solutions plan. Thus on the one hand it allows citizens to inform themselves about the current state of accessibility, while, on the other, it is a powerful technical, social and political tool for local governments to manage accessibility information in the municipality, receive feedback about where improvements need to be made and survey citizens' needs.

Logo Accessible Virtual Museum Guide

Guía Virtual Accesible Museos (GVAM)

Organisation: Dos de Mayo, S.L.

Country: Spain

GVAM (Accessible Virtual Museum Guide) is an information and communication technology (ICT) solution which, using a completely adjustable and interactive mobile device, allows all kinds of people, irrespective of their personal characteristics, to get the most out of museum visits. Guides are developed in collaboration with users and museum staff before being tested in real-life environments a diverse range of users. All the interfaces used in GVAM are accessible and can be adjusted according to individual requirements, activating features such as subtitling, audio-description, audio tours, sign language, magnification, pictograms and high contrast. The system also allows venues to create customised applications, offering a text-to-speech option that automatically generates a complete audio guide, as well as a subtitling editor that generates captions instantly.

Logo Design Concern

The Standing Knife

Organisation: Design Concern

Country: Denmark

This product aims to provide a practical solution for kitchen tasks which can be used safely and comfortably, irrespective of strength or dexterity. Involving users and occupational therapists from the outset, the design process comprised five stages: analysis of diverse user needs, creative design development based on user input and observation, development and testing of prototypes, adaptation of design on the basis of user input and observation and user testing prior to manufacture. Thanks to its attractive design, the product does not advertise itself as an assistive device, meaning users do not feel stigmatised, and the project’s success has convinced the manufacturer of the need to incorporate Design for All in future operations.

User-centred design in Living Labs: Project proposal


Logo Life 2.0

Life 2.0

Organisation: Karelia Ammattikorkeakoulu

Country: Finland

The Life 2.0 project aims to increase opportunities for older people to socialise and remain active by linking social networking and local information within an easy-to-use online platform. Ethnographic research was conducted to gain an understanding of older people in Barcelona, Joensuu, Aalborg and Milan, and subsequently used to create user personas, user stories and service scenarios. The resulting three priority areas – mutual assistance, local events and services – were modified following user testing and feedback. Older users can upload announcements about the assistance and skills they can offer, while local organisations share updates about activities in the area and local businesses can publicise relevant services. Participants in the pilot have strengthened their social relationships, acquired new skills and gained greater independence.

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