Are we achieving inclusive design?

Front cover of inclusive designer book. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) asked Julie Fleck to write a book about achieving inclusive design, which was published recently. Fleck was asked by Tourism for All whether she thought we are doing a good job with inclusive design. She said the UK has made huge progress since the 1980s when access became a town planning matter. Improved building regulation, including housing, have had a significant impact on the accessibility of the built environment.

The book also provided an opportunity for Fleck to look at what still needs to be done. She discusses the need to challenge perceptions, attitudes and behaviours. These are the factors that exclude and discriminate – often unintentionally. The book also looks at the London “Square Mile” and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It has case studies and lots of pictures. The title of the book is, Are you an inclusive designer?  


Despite improvements in the last 20 years we still have a way to go before all our buildings, places and spaces are easy and comfortable for everyone to use. This book puts forward a powerful case for a totally new attitude towards inclusivity and accessibility.

This book will empower architects to have more enlightened discussions with their clients about striving for better than the bare minimum. It also challenges the notion that inclusive design is a list of “special features” to be added to a final design. Inclusive design should be business as usual rather than something added on at the end of the development process.

The book is an invaluable resource for students as well as practicing architects. It is richly illustrated with case studies showing both good and bad examples of inclusive design. A thought-provoking text arguing for a step change in attitude. It’s also a guide for practitioners on how to have constructive conversations with clients, and a learning resource for students. 


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