About the 24 Hour Universal Design Challenge

Technology in the City

Why do a 24 Hour Universal Design Challenge?

The aim of the 24 Hour Universal Design Challenge is to demonstrate user centred design practices where the intended user is an integral design partner in a process that results in more inclusive design solutions. Universal Design is design that embraces human diversity and strives to produce environments, buildings, products and services that are usable, accessible and enjoyable for all to use. It aims to reduce the requirement for costly and wasteful retrofitting and to create unique sustainable designs that meet the needs of all people who wish to use them.

The teams will be set a design brief on the first morning, on the basis of which they will have 24 hours to develop a design concept that meets the requirements of the brief. Over the 24 hour period, the teams will work with a user (design partner) who will inform, advise and directly contribute to the design process. Design partners will be members of the public who can inform designers on their experience with regard to age, size, and/or disability (primarily physical, sensory and communication impairments). The teams will be supported by design students that will also help prepare the team presentation for judging.

At the end of the 24 hour period, the teams will pitch their design concept to an audience and a high profile panel of judges. A Judges' Choice Award (assessed using strict criteria) and a People's Choice Award (selected by audience vote) will be presented. Winning teams will be awarded a framed certificate of achievement along with prominent representation in associated press and article releases, along with possible opportunities to further the team intellectual property and mostly, a fun and memorable experience.

This Challenge brings professional designers together with a diverse range ofcommunity members (Design Partners), who present significant challenges with respect to age, size and disability. The teams were selected to ensure that a range of disciplines and skill sets were covered, providing designers with the opportunity to work with peers from different design disciplines.

The outcome of the event will offer an introduction to Universal Design processes and innovative design solutions - that are intended to be of interest to professional designers, design schools, urban planners and the general public.

Who are we?

The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) was established in January of 2007 at the National Disability Authority, Dublin, Ireland. The CEUD is dedicated to enabling the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. The centre does this by contributing to the development and promotion of standards, education courses and awareness. For more information visit: www.universaldesign.ie

The European Design for All e-Accessibility Network - EDeAN is a network of 160 organisations in European Union member states. The goal of the network is to support all citizens' access to the Information Society. EDeAN provides:

  • a European forum for Design for All issues, supporting
    EU's e-inclusion goals
  • awareness raising in the public and private sectors
  • online resources on Design for All

The European Design for All e-Accessibility Network (EDeAN) was established in 2002, in accordance with one of the specific goals of the eEurope 2002 Action Plan. The Action Plan was agreed on and committed to by the European Commission and all the member states.
The goal of this action is to raise the profile of Design for All and emphasize its importance in achieving greater e-Accessibility. For more information visit: www.edean.org

The Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre provides a focus for people-centred design and innovation at the RCA in London, the world's only wholly postgraduate university institution of art and design. Its multi-disciplinary team of designers, engineers, architects, anthropologists and communication experts undertake practical research and projects with industry to advance an approach to design within the RCA that is people-centred and socially inclusive. The aim of the 24 Hour Design Challenges is to encourage innovation in products, services and environments that includes the needs of people of a range of ages, sizes and abilities, and fosters partnerships with them as an integral part of the design process. For more information visit: http://www.hhc.rca.ac.uk/