Design for All

The next generation of designers searches for truly inclusive solutions.

It’s not enough for products today to just be pretty or aimed at a specific target market. Designers are engaging with social responsibility and creating solutions that are attractive to the fullest possible spectrum of potential users. For the graduate student Niels van Roij, the growing number of elderly people who face problems with mobility inspired his inner city vehicle project. Meanwhile in Ethiopia, the Berlin-based Graft Architects have launched the SolarKiosk—an autonomous, solar-powered modular business unit meant to provide affordable energy and services in off-grid regions.

Since 2003, Metropolis’s Next Generation® Design Competition has promoted precisely these attitudes—environmental activism, social involvement, and entrepreneurship—in young designers. Past winners and finalists have continued to embody these core values of good design in their work. Civil Twilight, the winners of the 2007 Next Gen award, have developed a full-scale prototype of an elegant and accessible folding kayak, which they will launch on Kickstarter in mid-October to fund tooling and manufacturing. So, if you’re a young designer or architect with a great idea powered by inclusive design thinking, then this year’s competition with the theme, “Empower with Inclusive Design” is for you.

To learn more about the Metropolis Next Generation competition click to

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