A new report from the Design Council in the UK discusses the value of design skills. Their research revealed that design skills are generally undervalued, but are essential for the future. In the context of post-COVID-19 economic recovery, automation and climate crisis, it describes the skills we will need. This is a time of opportunity for design to take centre stage. That includes designing universally and inclusively.
The report has a one page chart describing design which is useful for sharing and as a discussion starter. Design is explained under three columns titled, Head (problem solving), Heart (humanity centred) and Hand (practical skills). Under each heading is a list of factors some of which are clearly underpinned by principles and goals of universal design. For example:
- Understands the ways things are now, sees what is not acceptable and imagines what it ought to be in the future (under Head).
- Communicates visually and inclusively so that everyone can get involved, and values diversity and difference (under Heart).
- Makes the invisible visible and the complex understandable and useable – seeing where to act (under Hand).