Design for (every)one: Co-creation as a bridge between universal design and rehabilitation engineering
Design for (every)one is a macro framework that attempts to identify, share and use 'hidden solutions' in community-based rehabilitation contexts and translate them into disruptive assistive devices built with local resources or appropriate technology. Within healthcare contexts, local solutions are frequently more effective as they reflect the physical, emotional and cognitive needs of specific patients and engage all stakeholders in a specific local context. By using open horizontal innovation networks, where assistive devices can be easily shared and physically hacked by other allied health professionals, general patterns can be detected and translated into standard universal design objects. This generative design thinking approach is more than feasible with digital trends such as crowd sourcing, user-generated content and peer production. Cheap and powerful prototyping tools have become easier to use by non-engineers; it turns them into users as well as self-manufacturers of their personal assistive artefacts. This paper discusses the different aspects of this open innovation process within a 'design for disability' context and suggests the first steps in an iterative co-design methodology that brings together expertise from professional designers, occupational therapists, patients and other stakeholders. The overall aim is to gain more insights into designing qualitative occupational experiences for disabled users.
- Community-based rehabilitation
- Assistive technology
- Horizontal user innovation network
- Open design
- Personal manufacturing