FFATA:Collaborative Research: KINdReD: Knowledge and Methods for Inclusive Product Design
- View All
The research objective of this award is to create fundamental knowledge and methods for engineering design that enable engineers to better create products that satisfy the needs of persons with disabilities. Specifically, this research will create product design methodologies focused on what is common and what is different between typical and inclusive products. The proposed work creates quantitative knowledge that links the function of a product to the limitations of a user. Additionally, this research will create a modular multiplatform product family design method specifically constructed to support inclusive design. Thus, the products designed will offer usability, functionality, and value to the user while simultaneously offering profitability to the producer. The proposed research extends the functional lexicon of engineering design and World Health Organizations International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) to formally relate product function and user functional limitation thus integrating engineering and health communities in the context of product design. If successful, this research will transform engineering design practice by creating knowledge and methods that will fundamentally shift the philosophical context of inclusive design. Rather than attempt to design an entire product for a typical, fully able user, a user with a disability, or both, it will intelligently identify the base platform that satisfies all users? needed functionality and the differentiating modules that address specific needs. Core integrated research activities include working directly with persons with disabilities to design new products. These activities include undergraduate students as well, thus these students will gain exposure to the ?human quality of life improvement? aspect of engineering often not emphasized in the typical undergraduate curriculum.