27.3.2024

Creating Spaces for Everyone: Embracing Inclusivity in Spatial Design

Inclusivity embodies the essence of equality and cohesion, fostering a culture of trust, non-discrimination, and diversity in workplaces. In Finland, inclusivity extends to workplace accessibility, acknowledging and valuing the diverse skills brought by employees, whether stemming from cultural backgrounds or disabilities.

How can spatial design actively support inclusivity?

From the early stages of the education, interior architects are taught to empathize with users’ diverse needs. In practice, inclusive solutions in office design are often aimed for the visitors instead of the employees. Designers must illuminate this disparity and strive for solutions that prioritize the needs of all users, even those whose needs may not be fully addressed at present.

Spatial design encompasses various aspects where user backgrounds and needs must be considered. Here are some ways inclusivity has been integrated into our recent workplace projects at Fyra:

Participatory Spatial Design

Engaging diverse users throughout the planning process ensures that all perspectives are heard and considered, leading to more inclusive decisions. Clear and accessible communication channels are essential to ensure inclusivity in information distribution.

Accessibility in Passage Ways and Furniture

Ensuring that facilities meet accessibility standards and are easily navigable by everyone is vital. From break room sinks to reception desks, every detail should cater to diverse needs.

Flexibility for Diverse Ways of Working

Designing adaptable spaces that accommodate different work scenarios promotes inclusivity. Incorporating modular furniture and adjustable lighting enhances the flexibility of spaces, catering to different preferences and tasks.

Enhancing Sensory Experience

Considering sensory elements like sound, light, and smell enhances comfort and usability for all users. Providing induction loops in various rooms improves accessibility for individuals with hearing impairments.

Cultural Awarness

Recognizing and celebrating cultural diversity is vital in spatial planning. Incorporating elements like prayer rooms acknowledges and respects different cultural practices and traditions.

Fostering Community Spirit

Creating communal areas that promote interaction and collaboration fosters a sense of belonging for all users. Ensuring that everyone feels welcome and included within the workspace community is essential for a truly inclusive environment.

As designers, our goal is to create environments that transcend the ordinary, enriching the lives of not just a few, but of all. By prioritizing inclusivity in spatial design, we contribute to a more equal and welcoming built environment.

Sources:

Esteetön, saavutettava ja yhdenvertainen työelämä mahdollistaa vammaisten henkilöiden osallisuuden

Inkluusio

Työelämän saavutettavuus