The dramatic changes in the world over these past two years have shifted the paradigm of inclusion from one of consideration to one of necessity. Areas of difference have been brought into focus and intensified. As a response, the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion are transforming many aspects of society. Within our industry, inclusive design is being recognized and embraced more than ever by businesses, institutions and governing bodies. It is acknowledged across sectors and global markets that focusing on belonging, human health and wellbeing fulfills an ethical responsibility and opportunity to do better.
Within our built environment, designing equitably can eliminate experiences of exclusion and address many disparities across the shared spaces we inhabit in our communities. Inclusive design is an approach that focuses on our vast human needs and our differences with respect to gender identity, ability, age, neurodiversity, race, culture and socioeconomic status. It considers ways in which these needs intersect, offering the opportunity to problem-solve, innovate and explore solutions which can benefit a broader cross-section of people because their diverse experiences have been included in the design process.
Public engagement with diverse user groups leads to the best inclusive designs.
As part of a multidisciplinary team, BDP is leading the redesign of Singapore’s Geylang Serai market to include outdoor gathering areas, green spaces and new cycling lanes. Rich with Malay culture and heritage, the area’s surroundings have progressively evolved over time. By designing spaces that connect modern surroundings with the heritage of the area, we aim to create festive plazas and landmark structures that symbolise the transition of the area from a former Malay settlement to a vibrant community precinct. A newly designed gateway creates a welcoming sense of arrival, and the site utilizes smart-technology features to support people making their way around a beautiful, well-organized retail district.