Public and private sector organisations must adopt an inclusive approach to the design of new products, services and environments or risk cutting off citizens in the fastest growing segment of the population, according to an internationally renowned design expert visiting Belfast this week.
Dr Patricia (Pattie) Moore, who has years of experience leading the global effort for inclusive design solutions, is credited as one of the founders of Universal Design, an approach where products are designed for use by the widest range of consumers possible.
As the world becomes increasingly digitalised, she warned that services which aren’t designed with older people in mind, run the risk of failing to achieve their goals.
Pattie has been named as one of the forty most socially conscious designers in the world by ID Magazine. She is the designer behind many well-designed products such as OXO Smart-Grip potato peelers that feel comfy in the hands of both kids and grandparents and her work has contributed to essential devices such as CT scanners and mammogram machines.
She was recently named one of the Most Notable American Industrial Designers in the history of the field by the Industrial Designers Society of America and was selected by a consortium of news editors as one of the 100 Most Important Women in America.
Frustrated by her fellow architects and designers at Raymond Loewy International to consider the needs of the elderly and those with reduced abilities, Moore disguised herself as a woman in her eighties and travelled around North America to experience life as an older person. The experiment gave her the insight to design a series of products suitable for use by elderly people.
Hosted by Belfast design agency, Big Motive, Pattie will this week be sharing her expertise with design professionals, professors, lecturers and students at a series of events with Queen’s University, Ulster University and the Matrix panel.
Speaking about her visit to Belfast, Dr Pattie Moore said: “I am thrilled to get the opportunity to speak to the design community in Belfast about inclusive, universal design. When I started out in my career, I was shocked to see how many people were forgotten about by our field, especiallyour elders and those with reduced abilities. With the world rapidly aging, we can no longer afford to design services or products without keeping equality firmly in mind from the outset, or they will fail.”
Rebecca Walsh, Design Director at Big Motive, said: “To have the opportunity to host the incredible Pattie Moore on her first visit to Belfast is an honour as she’s an icon in the design industry. At Big Motive, we are passionate about designing for good, design that leaves no one behind. To create a sustainable, equal and healthy future, society needs services and products that includes not divides, something that Pattie reminds us of every day. Pattie’s work is something we try to live by every day in our company, designing services to be as inclusive as possible.”
Pattie has published several book chapters on Universal Design and in 1980 she set up her own design firm called Moore & Associates. Now MooreDesign Associates, in Phoenix, Arizona, specialises in developing new products and services for consumers of all ages and abilities.
She is a Fellow of the Industrial Designers Society of America and is also the co-author of the American National Standards Committee on Anthropometry.