Diversity and Design: Understanding Hidden Consequences


Explores how design – whether of products, buildings, landscapes, cities, media, or systems – affects diverse members of society. Fifteen case studies in television, marketing, product design, architecture, film, video games, and more, illustrate the profound, though often hidden, consequences design decisions and processes have on the total human experience. The book not only investigates how gender, race, class, age, disability, and other factors influence the ways designers think, but also emphasizes the importance of understanding increasingly diverse cultures and, thus, averting design that leads to discrimination, isolation, and segregation.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.