Just design

In the past years, the design community witnessed the development of several design approaches based on inclusivity. Designers who adopt these approaches ensure that their products and services address the needs of the widest possible audience, irrespective of age or ability. Characteristic of these approaches is their utopian character, the fact that it is impossible to really design for “everyone”, and that there will always turn out to be somebody whose perspective has not been taken into account. This feature of inclusive design is clearly acknowledged, and even advanced as a determinative characteristic. The project investigates what this utopian character implies for design practice. For if inclusive design taken literally is an unattainable goal, the question arises how designers can be fair to users, in particular to those at older age or living with an impairment. The project starts from the definition of justice according to John Rawls’ principles and applies this to inclusive design. In this way it seeks to make the political implications of design theory explicit, while extending the domain of justice to the realm of design practice.



  • Funding Agency: Academia Belgica, KU Leuven, KU Leuven Research Fund
  • Principal Investigator: prof. Ann Heylighen, prof. Matteo Bianchin
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