I am really pleased to see Yours magazine today engaging its readers in the debate about design for all (and not just because I am quoted with lovely photos of our double handled teapot and mug!).
Editor Valerie McConnell recounts her recent trip to her local gym where although pleasantly surprised by her results on the treadmill, she found herself wrestling with a hard to squeeze shampoo bottle.
As Valerie says: “Do you wish everyday objects could be designed to be easy to use as well as look good?”
I think they should :”Why should age mean life has to be less attractive? “Easy to use” products can often be stigmatising, which makes them less desirable and reduces the likelihood that they will ever be used. How many abdandoned, ugly plastic “reachers litter the homes of our older people?”
There is fortunately, as Valerie points out, a growing movement towards inclusive design which means that “everything from jam jar lids to public spaces should be designed to be equally useable by everybody”.
And to encourage this movement further, Valerie goes on to pose the question – given the increasing numbers of older people and their considerable combined spending power, should all designers be forced by law to make products accessible?
This is a really good question and it will be interesting to see what Yours readers think. And how fantastic that they are being asked in the first place as innovation in this area has the potential to transform all of our lives.