Enabled by #Designathon

Designing for extreme users as a way to create great innovations for everyone.

January 16, 2013
Reading Time
2 minutes

In November 2012, a crowd of over 100 designers, engineers, facilitators, technologists, policymakers, health and social care professionals, and people with first-hand experience of issues with independent living, all gathered for the inaugural Enabled by #Designathon at Ravensbourne College in London, UK.

The brainchild of the folks at Enabled by Design, and supported by IDEO, The Technology Strategy Board, Ravensbourne, sugru and FutureGov, the goal of the event was to prove that “good design enables people to live as independently as possible, by making day-to-day tasks that little bit easier.”

IDEO has long championed the value of designing for extreme users as a way to create great innovations for everyone, as well as the importance of user empathy to the design process. So we were delighted to support this event, which saw makers and potential users co-designing together for 24 hours to produce 12 amazing concepts with the potential to make lives easier for everyone.

Winning concept: Paul’s Kettle — a functional, desirable kettle designed for all.

Paul’s Kettle in action.

So what’s next? The teams behind the winning concepts — Paul’s Kettle and SafeHouse — are having a “next steps” meeting at the end of January, there are conversations afoot about taking the Enabled by #Designathon forward, and Enabled by Design has been invited to give a presentation at SXSW about the event so keep this frequency clear!

Winning concept: SafeHouse — the world’s first modular, DIY, fully retro-fittable home protection product.

In the meantime, thank you again to everyone involved in such a wonderfully inspiring event that we’re proud to have been associated with.

Thanks to the lovely @jackhaslehurst for the beautiful video (above) that captures all the best bits from a weekend of designs, brainstorms, prototypes, pitches and, most importantly, 12 inspiring concepts that prove that inclusive design isn’t design at or for the margins — it’s design at its most powerful.