Broadening Horizons: Designing as if people mattered

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In 1992 C. Cooper-Markus wrote 'Housing as if people mattered' promoting the notion that architects and designers need to gain a better understanding of others and society to improve their own work.

According reports such as those by the Nuffield Trust (2018) or by the Social Mobility Commission (2017) perhaps more than ever it is essential that students develop a better, broader, real world understanding of society and whatever their discipline consider future users and stakeholders and for design students this frequently means the creation of environments that take account of wellbeing.

Inspired by the Kings Fund, Enhancing the Healing Environment initiative each year

Spatial Design students at Teesside University undertake a module that aims to broaden their understanding of social problems whether health, aging, wellbeing or disability taking on live projects with hospices, dementia and adult social care, aging and this year was a one considering visual impairment with Sunderland Eye Infirmary as the client.

This not only provides ‘engagement in real research projects, or projects which replicate the process of research in their discipline. (Neary, 2011) but also promotes empathy, user and stakeholder participation. Furthermore the students learn to articulate their ideas with users and clients, embed Research Informed Teaching and ultimately improve their personal employability. It is hope that one or more students who undertook this year’s module will co-present this session
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2019
EventThree Rivers Consortium Conference: Embedding Student and Staff Well-Being in the Curriculum - Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Sept 201910 Sept 2019


ConferenceThree Rivers Consortium Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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