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24 May 2012 | PR 12/95

Designing for the vulnerable

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©iStockphoto.com/Jacob Wackerhausen

Loughborough University ergonomists will be helping to ensure designers of the future consider vulnerable users as part of a new European-wide research project.

The DEVICE – DEsigning for Vulnerable generatIons: Children and Elderly – study is being funded by the European Commission.

Its main aim is to make inclusive design a part of the core curriculum in higher education, ensuring future designers and ergonomists graduate with a better understanding of the constraints that children and the elderly face.

Loughborough University’s Design School is a recognised leader in this field.  Its undergraduate ergonomics programmes all include a module on inclusive design, and the school has also developed several tools that enable students to experience the difficulties faced by some age groups.  These include the SKInS wearable simulations TM, which enable people to personally experience some of the mobility issues associated with old age.

Loughborough’s involvement in the project is being led by Dr Andrew Morris from the Design School.  His team of researchers will evaluate the training that is currently provided at a European level and identify any gaps.

Speaking about the study Dr Morris said: “It is important that designers consider the needs of all users and whilst we can be confident that Loughborough design students have such awareness when they graduate, this is not necessarily the case when we consider the European Union as a whole.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: J.L.Wing@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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