We have come to the end of the first two years of Pakhuis de Zwijger’s programme Designing Cities for All (DCFA), with support from the Creative Industries Fund NL. A period of learning and unlearning about inclusive design, and, consequently, exclusion by design: the notion that almost everything around us was once designed, by people — often with a certain social, financial and educational status — who have blind spots; because that’s simply how people work. As a result, people unlike those designers are often left out of the design, making it inherently exclusionary.

Together with 150 inspirational speakers (designers, scientists, experts and many others), DCFA Fellows and educational, knowledge and design institutes, we dived into the domains of Diversity & Inclusion, Architecture, Climate (Justice), (Digital) Democracy, Equal Opportunities, Decolonisation, Technology, Healthcare, Journalism, Participation & Co-Design, Climate Justice and Education. What part does design play in all of those fields, and how might we redesign them to become more inclusive?

After the first year, this exploration of the design field accumulated in the publication of our first DCFA Essay Book, 18 Perspectives on Designing Cities for All. In it, we identified six insights that we gained in 2021, and eight tools to achieve putting them in practice. In 2022, we published the second DCFA Essay Book — More Perspectives on Designing Cities for All — and proceeded to learn, leading us to re-evaluate those insights and the way we worded them. We asked experts from the field to reflect on them, to give us their thoughts, and to correct, tweak and scrutinise them.

The DCFA Design Principles booklet is not a comprehensive guide, nor is it a finished product. The design principles are (and should forever be) subject to re-evaluation, scrutiny and new input. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past two years, it is to not just invite everyone to the table — let them build the table themselves! Read the booklet, click the button below and let us know your ideas, corrections and additions.

Let’s co-design the next edition together!

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Order a physical copy of the DCFA Design Principles
In this 20-page booklet, you learn about the foundational principles of inclusive design. Including many examples, practical tools to put them into practice, and plenty of tips and links to external sources and related Designing Cities for All programmes!
Excludes shipping costs (NL: € 4,80 EU: € 9,60)
Compiled by
Romy Heymans
Programmaleider Designing Cities for All en programmamaker Inclusieve Stad & FemCity