Latest project aids in ramping up efforts for inclusion and accessibility

Benefits of inclusivity allow for greater engagement according to new guidance from RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) published new guidance to ensure that inclusion and accessibility were considered at every stage of the design and construction process.

Inclusive design seeks to create buildings and spaces that welcome everyone, regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender, health condition, disability, ethnicity, or religion. This process involves considering the needs of people with physical, cognitive, and sensory impairments, including neurodivergence and dementia.

The guidance is a result of a multidisciplinary collaboration, including input from people with lived experience and experts from 25 built environment professions, demonstrating an important step towards making the built environment accessible and welcoming for everyone.

The guidance has been developed with specialist inclusive design consultancy, Motionspot, and is supported by Heathrow and Jane Simpson Access. It assigns clear responsibilities and tasks to the different roles involved in a building project, including client, project management, design, construction, and asset management teams, and is intended to be widely used by those involved in the built environment.

Inclusive Design Overlay Project Lead and Lead Overlay Author at Motionspot, Pareisse Wilson, said the biggest achievement from this work is that it was created in collaboration with the industry. “Together, these collaborators helped decide which roles to include.” She adds that throughout the journey, over 100 built environment professionals have attended workshops or provided feedback on draft versions. This effort makes it a truly inclusively designed framework.

“RIBA serves our members and society to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities, and a sustainable environment,” RIBA President Simon Allford said, “and inclusion is at the heart of this. The Inclusive Design Overlay will help not only our members but other design professionals to support wider communities, placemaking, and buildings, by designing for everyone.”