A Survey of Design Frameworks Regarding the Topic of Inclusivity

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0003-0420-9664
Brannock, Chloe, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ferguson, Sean, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Designing for inclusion is a growing space within the design realm. Many methods and frameworks can be applied in order to better define a space as inclusive and diversify the pool of end users. The technical portion of this project was to help guide the design of an inclusive playground through conducting a user needs assessment and a surface material recommendation. The stakeholder analyses consisted of a targeted demographic in order to fill the gaps of an understudied group of people within inclusive park designs. Further, materials research was conducted in order to better understand the appropriate materials to be used for the playground surfacing. Both aspects of this project were aimed to increase accessibility and inclusion for the community of people with disabilities. The results helped guide the design by showing multiple wanted themes by the community as well as a push for unitary, or non-loose fill material, for the playground surfacing.

My STS research dove further into what it means to define a space as inclusive. Throughout the work of the capstone project, I began to notice that there were still gaps within designing for inclusion of a diverse community. In order to define a space as inclusive, I felt there needed to be a more extensive analysis of the users and community of this urban public space. There was an evident gap in this design approach surrounding inclusion of people with varying identities and backgrounds. This research ultimately became a survey of different frameworks that could be applied to a playground design and how each method can cultivate inclusivity with a focus on racial inclusion. The three frameworks analyzed were Universal Design, Value Sensitive Design and Placemaking. An analysis and application of each framework showed how different approaches can both enhance and detract from designing around the value of inclusivity.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Inclusivity , Universal Design
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