This month, as the greater Performance Frontiers team explore diversity, equity and inclusion with an open heart and people-focussed approach, the design team have been motivated by a sense of this shared humanity in the design sphere.
The recording of their robust and rich discussion is below, unpacking a range of themes including:
- Global trends and the shift towards inclusive design, including equity focused and user centric;
- Exclusionary design examples and learning opportunities;
- Symbols, icons and balancing considerations; and
- Current client needs.
Here are some of Sirena and Zain’s favourite highlights from their time with Rami:
What trends are you seeing in design on a global level, do you think there has been a shift towards more inclusive design?
I think we’re at a point where the industry is moving quite a bit past inclusive design and very much towards equity focused design.
Equity focused design looks at groups that have been historically underrepresented or ignored when building products, (or) when providing services… and the goal of equity focused design is to uplift those groups that have been excluded historically and really provide them with a lot of these products in order to see themselves reflected in them, in order to really make sure to level out the playing field.
Can you share a couple of examples where design has been exclusionary to certain groups of people?
I can find quite a lot of oppressive systematic examples of bad design. But we can probably think of a lot of, if not more, examples of design that was made to solve real world issues for a specific group of people and really scaled up in a way that is quite beautiful.
A design that solved for the needs of one particular person (the typewriter), not only scaled up to address the needs of a lot of people with vision impairment, but effectively helped us bridge the gap from handwriting to the laptop.
What is a key commonality among client needs right now?
Across different fields, across different industries, I think we’re looking for design solutions that integrate seamlessly into our lives.
I think we’re interested in the ability of having more agency, we’re looking at designers offering tools for clients and acknowledging the concept of co-agency and a concept of them having a say in being able to create bespoke experiences that are mindful to their own needs and own desires on a personal scale.
The call to action for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive now and tomorrow has been made many times before, and during their conversation with Rami, Sirena and Zain have made it again – through their shared lens of design and the power that it can bring to influence and transform each other and the world around us.
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