When you look around and observe our environments, both physical and digital, it all consists of some form of design. I find these designs to be very powerful since they shape and have an impact on the environment we live in today. Some of these designs are good (and some are not good), but they both have an impact. Good designs have a positive impact on how we live. Even minimalist design (or the lack of design or minimizing design) can have an impact.
Since everyone can be influenced by good design, why there are so many problems in the world today? Every day we can see or be surrounded by good design, but we still have many daily frustrations? In our lifetime we have learned to try and focus on the positive things in our life, and not the negative things. I have realized that good design can help influence wise decisions.
Industrial designers are focusing on creating universal problem-solving products in both the digital and physical world. In the aim of creating any type of universal design, some groups of people are not included. This is not intended, but it does happen. A good example of this is to look at the design of a regular coffee mug. The design of the coffee mug consists of colors, weight, and dimensions. Everyone that holds a coffee mug has a different size hand, and everyone has a different preferred method for holding and drinking from a coffee mug comfortably. Not all of these methods could be considered by the designer during the process of designing a coffee mug, but if it is a universal design, it does allow for most people to use a coffee mug for its original intention. Another scenario would be how a person with a disability uses a coffee mug? The different types of disabilities could impact different designs of coffee mugs, each uniquely designed for the end user’s disability. The design of a coffee mug for anyone with a vision disability could include braille, an oversized base to allow the user to sit the coffee mug on a table without knocking it over, and have sensor technology that could have the ability to assist a blind person to know how much they have poured into a coffee mug.
During my current project, I have studied people with disabilities, and how they are affected by design. I focused on someone that has a vision disability and how they can pursue an education to get a degree in industrial design, and after graduation, finding a full-time job as an industrial designer. I wanted to interview a person that has been through this process, but I was not successful in finding this person. I know industrial designers with a vision disability exist, and I have a lot of respect for them and consider them heroes of the industrial design community. I hope they can use their experiences of having a vision disability to create better designs for others that have this type of disability.
When you think about all of the man-made physical and digital designs in the world, I believe design is a human right. I think this right involves designers creating more and better designs for anyone that suffers from any type of vision disability. In our fast-paced world, we do not always think about how design impacts everyone differently. All industrial designers should think about design as a human right. Everyone deserves to have better designs that help make for a better, longer life.