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RECAP: 2024 Chapter Book Club

The IIDA Ohio Kentucky members gathered virtually on February 27th to dissect the thought-provoking themes of "Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design'' by Kat Holmes. As interior designers, the members delved into rich discussions, reflecting on their experiences, observations, and practices in designing for inclusivity.

The conversation ignited with an exploration of the book's central thesis: how design can either include or exclude people, often unintentionally. Members shared anecdotes from their own projects, highlighting moments where they had encountered design choices that inadvertently marginalized certain users. From environments catered to right handed persons to lack of consideration for neurodivergent students when picking busy flooring materials, the designers were candid about the challenges they faced in achieving true inclusivity in their work.

However, amidst these challenges, there was a palpable sense of optimism as the group exchanged strategies and solutions for fostering inclusivity in design. They discussed the importance of empathy-driven design, emphasizing the need to understand the diverse perspectives and experiences of users. Members shared techniques they had implemented, such as conducting user research, employing universal design principles, and actively involving marginalized communities in the design process.

The discussion also delved into the role of education and advocacy in promoting inclusive design practices within the industry. Participants expressed a desire for greater awareness and sensitivity among designers, as well as a need for continued dialogue and collaboration to address systemic barriers to inclusion.

Overall, the book club meeting served as a catalyst for introspection and inspiration, prompting participants to critically examine their approaches to design and reaffirming their commitment to creating spaces that are truly inclusive for all.

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