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As designers, our responsibility extends beyond aesthetics and functionality. Designers have the power to create inclusive and accessible solutions that cater to the diverse needs of people from all walks of life. The field of Bachelor of Design (BDes) offers a unique opportunity to develop skills and knowledge that can contribute to the creation of designs that are accessible and inclusive. In this blog, we will explore how BDes courses play a crucial role in fostering design for all.
What is a BDes course?
BDes stands for Bachelor of Design course, which is an undergraduate degree program that focuses on various aspects of design, such as product design, graphic design, interaction design, interior design, fashion design, and more. BDes programs typically span three to four years and are offered by universities or design schools.
A BDes course curriculum typically includes a combination of theoretical and practical coursework aimed at developing students' creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and technical skills. BDes programs may cover topics such as design history and theory, design research and methodology, design thinking and prototyping, digital design, visual communication, materials, and manufacturing, sustainability in design, and more, depending on the specific focus or specialisation of the program.
BDes courses may also emphasise hands-on learning through studio work, workshops, internships, and real-world projects, allowing students to apply their design skills in practical settings. Additionally, BDes programs may encourage collaboration, interdisciplinary approaches, and the integration of technology and innovation in design processes.
Upon completion of a BDes course, graduates may pursue careers in various design fields, such as industrial design, graphic design, web design, UX/UI design, interior design, fashion design, and more. They may also choose to further their education with postgraduate studies or engage in entrepreneurship, consulting, or other design-related roles.
It's important to note that the specific curriculum, duration, and requirements of a BDes course may vary depending on the institution and country offering the program. Prospective students should research and review the details of the BDes program they are interested in to ensure that it aligns with their career goals and interests.
How BDes is helpful in creating accessible and inclusive designs
Understanding inclusive design
Inclusive design, also known as universal design, is an approach that emphasises the creation of products, services, and environments that are usable and accessible to the widest possible range of users, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. It aims to eliminate barriers and ensure that everyone, regardless of their age, size, or physical or cognitive abilities, can interact with and benefit from a design in a meaningful way.
BDes courses promote sensitivity to diversity
BDes courses provide students with the opportunity to develop a keen understanding of diversity and inclusivity in design. Students are exposed to various design challenges that require them to consider the needs of diverse users. They learn to identify and address barriers that may exclude certain groups of people from using or benefiting from a design. BDes courses encourage students to adopt a user-centric approach, which involves conducting user research, understanding user needs, and incorporating user feedback into the design process. This empathetic and inclusive approach helps students develop a deep understanding of the importance of creating designs that are sensitive to diversity.
Integrating inclusivity into the design process
BDes courses emphasise the integration of inclusivity into the entire design process, from ideation to prototyping and testing. Students learn to incorporate principles of inclusive design into each stage of the design process. For example, they are taught to consider factors such as physical accessibility, cognitive accessibility, and emotional inclusivity when creating designs. They also learn about designing for different sensory modalities, such as visual, auditory, and haptic, to ensure that their designs are inclusive to users with various sensory abilities. BDes courses also emphasize the importance of testing designs with diverse users to identify any potential barriers or challenges and iterate on the design accordingly.
Designing for accessibility and inclusivity in various domains
BDes courses cover a wide range of design domains, including product design, graphic design, interaction design, interior design, fashion design, and more. In each of these domains, students are exposed to unique challenges and opportunities for creating accessible and inclusive designs. For example, in product design, students learn about designing products that are easy to use and navigate for people with different abilities. In graphic design, students learn about creating designs that are visually appealing and accessible to people with visual impairments. In interaction design, students learn about designing digital interfaces that are usable and accessible to people with varying levels of digital literacy. BDes courses provide a holistic understanding of design across different domains and equip students with the skills and knowledge to create inclusive designs in various contexts.
Collaborative and interdisciplinary approach
BDes courses often foster a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to design, which is crucial for creating accessible and inclusive designs. Students are encouraged to work in teams and collaborate with peers from diverse backgrounds, including different design disciplines, engineering, social sciences, and more. This interdisciplinary approach exposes students to a wide range of perspectives and encourages them to consider diverse viewpoints when creating designs. It also helps students develop skills in communication, teamwork, and negotiation, which are essential for working on inclusive design projects that require collaboration with diverse stakeholders.
Advocacy for inclusive design
BDes courses also promote advocacy for inclusive design. Students are encouraged to raise awareness about the importance of accessibility and inclusivity in design.
ITM-IDM | Best design school in India
ITM IDM assists graduating students in launching their careers in challenging positions. Today, ITM Institute of Design & Media alumni work for major corporations across the country. ITM Institute of Design and Media is a cutting-edge digital design school that specializes in VFX & Animation, Fashion, Interior, and Communication Design. ITM Institute of Health Sciences is a pioneering institution that offers programs in allied health professions in collaboration with the health industry.
BDes courses play a pivotal role in fostering a design culture that embraces accessibility and inclusivity as core principles. By equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and mindset to create designs that are accessible, inclusive, and socially responsible, BDes courses contribute to building a more inclusive and equitable world where everyone can participate fully and enjoy the benefits of good design. As future designers, graduates of BDes courses have the potential to make a positive impact on society by creating designs for all.