Late last year, as I was discussing with my supervisor how my PhD resonates with Inclusive Design as the overarching design principle and how ultimately social inclusion can contribute to wellbeing, I question what we, as a society at large, understand on what inclusive design is. There is no shortage of information; reading materials, articles, guidelines and blogs as well as research and activities. So suffice today that it is a widely known principle or concept. However, what is the current understanding of Inclusive Design, how does it vary from different perspectives and how can Inclusive Design affect or relate to wellbeing, particularly for individuals with disabilities within the public built environment design?
When I embarked on my research degree, I was planning to do this quietly in the background with little noise, which I did. But the question lingered on and I thought, what if I do something about this, what if I am the one who put together a discussion between panels and public? But who do I think I am to do that? Even though I perform as a vocalist, putting myself out there without the bandmates and “musical shield” is an entirely different matter. Anxiety disorder, past traumas and bullying are something that I constantly push forward to overcome, this includes social and public engagement. The thought persisted and I said to myself, if I say that I am advocating for Inclusive Culture, then I need to do something about it, instead of just saying it. So, with the support of my supervisors, I am giving this a go.
Thank you ShawContract for sponsoring the event and Swinburne University (especially my supervisors, Dr Nanette Carter, Dr Kirsten Day and Prof Mark Taylor) for supporting this endeavour, as well as to the panels who generously volunteer their time to be part of this event. Thank you for Melbourne Design Week committee for giving this discussion a green light to become part of Melbourne Design Week 2020.
Stay tuned and in the meantime, the journey continues…
I was expecting a small turn-out and lots of cancellation on bookings on my first concert in 2020; given that it had fallen on Friday, 31st January at Lido Jazz, when the temperature reached 43 degrees (yikes!). With the number of cancelled trains and congestions, it was natural to be overtly realistic on how the night might turn out. So, it was sincerely heartwarming to see that people still come in to see our Quartet playing a mix of (mostly) french and jazz tunes. The place was full!
Thank you so much for coming down in one of the balmiest night. Thank you for Lido Jazz staff for looking after us and ensuring everybody has nice cool water (and libations!) and making sure the A/C works. It was indeed a great start for 2020.