Abstract

Inclusive design is an evolving and complex concept, the definition of which can be extended to address not only age and disability, but also race, income, education, and culture. As most of products are originally designed in developed countries, conventional elder-care products present serious difficulties and exclude users with different cultural customs and lower economic status. There is an urgent need for a design framework, based on an expansive understanding of not only age and disability, but also income, education and culturally related barriers, which will lead to a minimizing of the impact of these differences and thereby extend the effectiveness of “inclusive design”. Through case studies of Thai elder care product development, this paper aims to explore the inclusive design approaches that are suitable for all ranges of users with different capability, culture and purchasing power. Techniques for this research, in the first phase, include contextual interview and observation as well as self-documentary of 50 pairs of Thai elderly and their caregivers. The subjects were selectively chosen based on age, gender, length of dependency, the relationship to each other, functional dependency in ADL, living conditions, and equipment used for elder care. These enable us to identify the details of inclusive design barriers and to develop population profiles based on three expanded design dimensions for greater inclusion: individual incapability, cultural specificity and economic limitation. In the second phase, the relationships between design approaches and included user groups were analyzed through 150 design case studies of Thai eldercare product development. The findings enable the development of the “Incapability-Cultural -Economic Cube” (I.C.E Cube), an active inclusive design framework for all ranges of users with different capability, culture and purchasing power. The model is illustrated in this paper by a range of product examples from Thai elder-care case studies.

Keywords:

Inclusive Design, Cultural Factors, Economic Factors, Elder Care, Design Framework

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

The Inclusive Incapability-Culture-Economy Cube: A design framework for complex barriers

Inclusive design is an evolving and complex concept, the definition of which can be extended to address not only age and disability, but also race, income, education, and culture. As most of products are originally designed in developed countries, conventional elder-care products present serious difficulties and exclude users with different cultural customs and lower economic status. There is an urgent need for a design framework, based on an expansive understanding of not only age and disability, but also income, education and culturally related barriers, which will lead to a minimizing of the impact of these differences and thereby extend the effectiveness of “inclusive design”. Through case studies of Thai elder care product development, this paper aims to explore the inclusive design approaches that are suitable for all ranges of users with different capability, culture and purchasing power. Techniques for this research, in the first phase, include contextual interview and observation as well as self-documentary of 50 pairs of Thai elderly and their caregivers. The subjects were selectively chosen based on age, gender, length of dependency, the relationship to each other, functional dependency in ADL, living conditions, and equipment used for elder care. These enable us to identify the details of inclusive design barriers and to develop population profiles based on three expanded design dimensions for greater inclusion: individual incapability, cultural specificity and economic limitation. In the second phase, the relationships between design approaches and included user groups were analyzed through 150 design case studies of Thai eldercare product development. The findings enable the development of the “Incapability-Cultural -Economic Cube” (I.C.E Cube), an active inclusive design framework for all ranges of users with different capability, culture and purchasing power. The model is illustrated in this paper by a range of product examples from Thai elder-care case studies.

 

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