OCAD University Open Research Repository

The three dimensions of inclusive design: A design framework for a digitally transformed and complexly connected society

Treviranus, Jutta (2018) The three dimensions of inclusive design: A design framework for a digitally transformed and complexly connected society. PhD thesis, University College Dublin.

Item Type: Thesis (external)
Creators: Treviranus, Jutta

This thesis attempts to answer the following meta-design challenge: In this digitally transformed and increasingly connected society, how can we design in such a way that we include the full range of human diversity? How can we use design to both circumvent the new barriers that escalate exclusion and leverage the new affordances of emerging sociotechnical systems to reduce disparity?

This thesis documents the formulation, application and testing of a guiding framework for Inclusive Design, suitable for a digitally transformed and increasingly connected context. During the course of my doctoral studies I have iteratively formalised and refined this framework. As a doctoral student, Founder/Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre of Canada (1993–), and co-Director of the sister European lab, the Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland (2008–), I have implemented the inclusive design framework in applied research with colleagues. I have also taught the framework in the graduate programme that I launched at OCAD University in Toronto in 2011. These framework applications have helped to develop tools and design methods that support the framework. The thesis conveys the formulation, implementation, and communication of the framework to several application domains.

The fields of knowledge are diverse and post-disciplinary. If a primary field must be chosen, then it would be the field of Design, not only in terms of Design Engineering but also in the broader scope of Design for Society: both are explored and developed in tandem. But the impact of the work in the ‘real world’ and within the industry sector that can support community change, is the most important aim and contribution of this research. The evolving framework is already being applied by a global collaborating community and has formed the basis of the corporate transformation of companies such as Microsoft. The applied research has delved into many cognate fields, including Systems Thinking, Deeper Learning, Economics, Machine Learning, Human Computer Interfaces, and Critical Disability Studies.

The thesis makes an original and substantial contribution to knowledge, articulating a guiding framework for Inclusive Design in a digitally transformed and complexly connected global society. The framework applies Systems Thinking to the area of digital inclusion for people experiencing disabilities and adds the consideration of the design process to inclusive or accessible Design. Examples taken from years of intensive practice that support the thesis are provided as use cases, to support future research and implementation.

The thesis also attempts to provide a bridge between scholarly study and community action, in part by using clear language to prevent or overcome any conceptual divide between scholars and the diverse individuals who must participate in co-designing a more inclusive society. The thesis includes translations of the concepts inherent in the proposed framework, expressed clearly and succinctly, for a variety of co-designers. The thesis posits that Diversity is Strength: a concept that can be applied in many cognate fields as well.

Date: 8 May 2018
Divisions: Faculty of Design
Research Programs > Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC)
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2019 14:28
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 19:01
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2745

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