Aspects of Designing Inclusively from Practitioner Perspectives

Lamirande, Maxim (2022). Aspects of Designing Inclusively from Practitioner Perspectives. Architecture, 2(3) pp. 497–517.



The concept of inclusion in design is increasingly well known and often recognizes value in a greater diversity of people when creating new buildings, spaces, products, and services. Still, uptake is said to be limited in practice. The theoretical landscape provides several definitions and concerns, but they are often paradoxical. Rather than disentangle theory, this research turns to practitioners who design inclusively. This research explores the ways people advocate for inclusion in design projects, prevailing aspects in the negotiations within multi-stakeholder projects, the motivations and mindsets that drive these aspects, and the opportunities they create for the improved uptake of inclusion. Through discussions (semi-structured interviews) with six individuals from design and architecture, aspects of inclusion from practice emerged. The data were clustered thematically and organized into three parts: general project development, working with others as a team, and designing inclusively. These explorations highlight the value of including a more diverse group of individuals in the negotiations of a design project, the value of bespoke designs, the ever-evolving nature of inclusion, the different ways to present a valuable business case, and the influence of team dynamics. Conflicting perspectives on effective uptake prevail in both practice and theory. Future research will inquire on the most prevalent and valuable aspects of inclusion and their placement within current development processes.

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