Neurodiversity in the city
How can we design a city that is accessible for neurodiverse people?
Everyone interprets things differently. A designer's job is to make every experience simple, seamless and enjoyable for the people using their products and services.
For those on the neurodiverse spectrum, scenarios that may seem everyday to ‘neurotypical’ people can present significant challenges. For example, clashing patterns and colours in offices can be distracting for people on the autistic spectrum, while taking money out of a cash machine can be confusing for people with dyscalculia.
This year's Design Manchester festival (DM16) is celebrating the part design plays in making Manchester and other cities great to live in and inclusivity and accessibility for all is a big part of this.
As part of the DM16 programme, the BBC, magneticNorth and Hyper Island will be collaborating on a unique event around neurodiversity and the city.
The back story
Project CAPE is new accessibility initiative developed by the BBC that aims to raise awareness of the positive role neurodiversity can have in the workplace. Project lead Leena Haque wants to share the message that everyone thinks differently and that people across the neurodiverse spectrum have a huge amount to offer, often possessing talent and skills such as pattern and visual thinking, that can be applied to a range of roles and situations.
At magneticNorth, we are a Manchester based design studio who create digital products, strategies and services. We worked closely with the BBC to help develop a visual identity for the CAPE project. It provided us with a unique opportunity to explore the different ways in which people interpret design elements such as colours, imagery and patterns.
With the CAPE brand now launched, the BBC and magneticNorth have been looking for a way to share the story behind the project and get the design and tech community involved in the next phase of the project’s development.
To help facilitate this, we have collaborated with creative business school and learning experience design specialists Hyper Island to help facilitate and deliver the event.
The event will begin with a few short talks from the CAPE team and magneticNorth, followed by a workshop that will pose the question ‘How can we design a city that is accessible for neurodiverse people?’ Working in groups, attendees will follow a set of design processes to help improve a particular journey through the city for a neurodiverse person.
The workshop will focus on developing user personas and experience prototypes, with the primary aim of the session being to help budding designers and technologists appreciate that we all think differently in a fun, inclusive and challenging way.
During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to have a go on an immersive 360 VR experience the BBC have created to help raise awareness about the challenges facing neurodiverse people in the workplace.
Who should attend
Everyone! We'd like to get all different types of people from different backgrounds involved. Whether you're interested in design processes, technical innovation or neurodiversity in general, we think this will be a really valuable workshop for all.
Free tickets are now available. There are a limited number available so grab them quick!
Further details will be announced shortly.
For more information on neurodiversity at the BBC, including videos head here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/diversity/disability/neurodiversityatthebbc