Inclusive Design as the Social Responsibility of Industrial Designers

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Winta Adhitia Guspara1 and Winta Tridhatu Satwikasanti2



Human-centred design is a paradigm of industrial design that focuses on producing products that are not only luxurious but also have a good purpose, function well, and provide a satisfying experience for users. Industrial designers possess the skills and knowledge to create such products, but it is unfortunate if these abilities are used in too narrow a field. According to Papanek, industrial designers must prepare themselves to understand social problems. One field that is relevant to industrial designers in terms of social responsibility is related to disabled people. By learning from people with disabilities, designers can understand how a design should be. Standards for design requirement no longer use general standards but use the minimum standards for persons with disabilities. By employing minimum standards, the product usability and environmental accessibility can be used for everyone, and no one is left behind.

This article expands on Victor Papanek's ideas of introducing product design students to an inclusive design paradigm. Students participate in inclusive design and inclusive service-learning classes, where they work on projects aimed at creating educational toys for children by involving children with disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, deafness, slow learning, and mental disabilities. Involving children with disabilities in the design process allows designers to receive valuable feedback on functionality and usability, aiding in the overall improvement of the solutions at once. By embracing an inclusive design approach and involving disabled individuals in the design process, students can develop products which answer the needs of people with disabilities, foster inclusivity and accessibility for more people.

Keywords: Victor Papanek, human-centred design, industrial design, inclusive design, disability


Full Text




[1]       V. Papanek, Design for the real world, no. March. 1985.

[2]       A. C. Michalos and H. A. Simon, The Sciences of the Artificial, vol. 11, no. 1. 1970.

[3]       P. Boradkar, Designing Things: A Critical Introduction to the Culture of Objects. New York: BERG, 2010.

[4]       N. Cross, Designerly Ways of Knowing. London: Springer, 2006.

[5]       R. P. McDermott and H. Varenne, ‘Culture as Disability’, Anthropol. Educ. Q., vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 324–348, 1995.

[6]       K. Marx, CAPITAL, vol. one. London: Penguin Classics, 1990.

[7]       N. Pevsner, Pioneers of Modern Design, Reprinted. Norflok: Pellican Books, 1936.

[8]       C. Amery, ‘Art History Reviewed IV : Nikolaus Pevsner ’s ’Pioneers of the Modern Movement ’, 1936’, Burlingt. Mag., vol. 151, no. 1278, pp. 617–619, 1936.

[9]       P. Draper, ‘Reassessing Nikolaus Pevsner’, J. Des. Hist., vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 357–360, 2004.

[10]     J. M. Woodham, ‘Designing Design History: from Pevsner to Postmodernism’, J. Des. Hist., vol. 20, no. 2, p. 14, 2006.

[11]     U. Engel, ‘“Fit for its purpose”: Nikolaus Pevsner argues for the modern movement’, J. Des. Hist., vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 15–32, 2015.

[12]     P. Madge, ‘An Enquiry into Pevsner’s “Enquiry”’, J. Des. Hist., vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 113–126, 1998.

[13]     C. Bolus-Reichert, The Age of Eclecticism. 2020.

[14]     M. Gell-Man, ‘What is complexity?’, vol. 1, no. 1, 1995.

[15]     B. Edmonds, ‘What is Complexity - The philosophy of complexity per se with application to some examples in evolution’, Manchester Metrop. Univ., p. 13, 1999.

[16]     C. H. Lineweaver, P. C. Davies, and M. Ruse, ‘What is complexity? Is it increasing?’, Complex. Arrow Time, pp. 3–16, 2013.


[18]     C. Adami, ‘What is complexity?’, BioEssays, vol. 24, no. 12, pp. 1085–1094, 2002.

[19]     J. Dewey, Experience and Education (Kappa Delta Pi Lecture). New York: TOUCHSTONE, 1997.

[20]     D. A. Schon, The Reflective Practitioner, First. United States of America: Basic Books, Inc, 1983.

[21]     M. Polanyi, Personal Knowledge, Second. Routledge, 1962.

[22]     D. W. Inclusive Service Learning, ‘Inclusive Service Learning #2: Educational and Daily Living Products for Children with Disabilities’, Yogyakarta, 2023.

[23]     S. Keates and J. Clarkson, Countering Design Exclusion: An Introduction to Inclusive Design. London, UK: Springer-Verlag, 2004.

[24]     M. Lewrick, P. Link, and L. Leifer, Design Thinking Toolbox. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2020.

[25]     W. Jonas, ‘A Scenario for Design’, Des. World, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 37–52, 2018.