Dynamic worktop for highly inclusive kitchens: Design for All (DfA) solution for product innovation in the kitchen furniture’s area
Authors: Antonio Marano, Ivo Spitilli, Giuseppe Di Bucchianico
Abstract: In the field of Product design, basic and applied research addresses the issue of inclusion through a theoretical-methodological and experimental development approach, aimed at specific user groups with personal needs (anthropometric, postural and use) or with reduced possibility of action and movement.Thus, the solutions and product innovations on the market are mostly partial, specialized and hyper-functional, and they don’t consider, as far as possible, everyone's needs through an inclusive approach to the project.Today, the culture of design evolves towards Design for All (DfA). It is the design for human diversity, social inclusion and equality (EIDD Declaration of Stockholm, 2004), which aims, instead, to extend the active and autonomous, comfortable and pleasant use of products to the widest variety of subjects, different from each other for culture or perceptive, motor and cognitive abilities.In this problematic context and in the perspective of the transition towards social inclusion, this paper proposes a discussion and a theoretical-critical reflection on the application of DfA tools and methods and presents the results of the elaboration and experimental development referred to a dynamic Top concept for a highly inclusive kitchen. The aim of this research is to prefigure a kitchen system able to offer users a more inclusive and personalized access, to respond to the cognitive and physical needs of the different possible targets, in an equitable way and without creating ghettoizations or specializations, to modify and adapt its own characteristics over time in order to guarantee a socially inclusive use.In particular, the studio is critically confronted with the experiences that take place in many parts of the world that develop and manufacture more accessible products in the kitchen supplies sector, to arrive at the development of a concept of a highly inclusive kitchen worktop by applying the methodology of DfA.The design process activities concern a pre-concept phase for the identification of problematic nodes, and, by means of an anthropometric verification, of the size and minimum dimensions of the product.This is followed by a phase of generation and selection of the most promising ideas to come finally, in the final phase, to the development of the product concept and a subsequent empirical validation of the degree of innovation achieved through virtual models and scale prototypes.The concept of a typically innovative kitchen worktop for all, represents the starting point and the methodological basis for the search for new solutions in the various areas of Product design, able of responding effectively to the pressing and urgent questions posed by inclusive society. The result demonstrates the concrete possibility of overcoming the concept of design for disability by proposing as an alternative a design for all approach that promotes equality and equity of use.
Keywords: DfA - Product innovation - Inclusive Kitchen
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