Design that Makes a Difference

I like finding case studies and examples of good design practice. The Design that Makes a Difference exhibtion showcased 20 projects from the UK and Norway focussed on inclusive design. The exhibition was in April 2013 but many of the projects have been incubating and developing over the last few years. These projects inspire me, and remind me that design really can make a difference.

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Design that Makes a Difference

People-centred projects from Norway and the UK

This exhibition, organised by The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the Norwegian Design Council, presented projects that demonstrate the benefits of people-centred design thinking. The work ranged from passenger trains and hotel chains to government websites, voting systems and community-led initiatives. Together they provided a snapshot of the developing practice of social design – design that makes a difference.

An inclusive design approach works most effectively when activated at all levels – within local communities and neighbourhoods, within business organisations and through public services. These projects represent a cross-section of work that puts people first, meets social need, influences business practice and effects positive change.

Drawing on a history of collaboration between the UK and Norway, the work builds on a book published in 2010 by the Norwegian Design Council with the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art. Innovating with People: The Business of Inclusive Design advocated the need for an inclusive approach in business. Three years on, this exhibition looks at companies, designers and initiatives that actively engage with this idea.

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