Happy shopping for everyone
About two million people in the Netherlands deal with a visible or invisible disability influencing their (online and offline) shopping experience negatively. Despite some good examples, there is still a long way to go for shops to really become ‘inclusive’. For ‘What if Lab: Unhindered Participation’, Studio Corvers and (ink). developed new perspectives in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (HWS).
What if Lab x Unhindered Participation
Besides the Ministry of HWS, HEMA, MKB Nederland, InRetail and Iederin have also been closely involved in the process. They initially selected five design studios for ‘What if Lab: Unhindered Participation’ and asked them to think how shops can be better designed, equipped or prepared for disabled customers. After showing these five concepts at Dutch Design Week 2020, Studio Corvers and (ink). were selected to futher develop their concepts. Last Thursday 17 December, they presented their final results.
Drempelloos by Studio Corvers
Wouter and Joost Corvers of Studio Corvers presented the Drempelloos toolkit (translated: Thresholdless toolkit), a practical starting point for an inclusive store. Drempelloos provides employees and retailers with tools to test themselves and their store regarding various criteria relevant in this theme. The toolkit consisting of game and measuring instruments is practical, playful, hands-on and consists out of ten different, separate modules allowing the content to be adapted to any type of store. The goal of Drempelloos is to increase the empathy for people with a disability by experiencing the obstacles themselves.
Mensenkenners by (ink).
Mayra Kapteijn and Anna Noyons of design studio (ink). noted that interaction is often the greatest obstacle. Not only a certain physical environment can exclude people, but also certain reactions; people who react scared or are unable to adapt to specific needs. That is why (ink). developed Mensenkenners (translated: People Pro), an Instagram course that helps train your inclusivity muscle enabling you to cope with all types and sizes of people at any time.
How were the designs received?
Minister of HWS, Tamara van Ark, mentioned that the presentations of (ink). and Studio Corvers provided her with a boost of energy and inspiration. She agrees that it is extremely important that anyone feels welcome in retail stores. Being able to shop independently is just as important as being able to work or do sports. Anything that contributes to that is a step in the right direction.
The other partners that took part in the conversation, Eva Ronhaar (Hema Foundation), Iris Schuitemaker (MKB Nederland), Femke den Hartog (INretail) and Xandra Koster (Iederin), indicate that they would like to continue working together to take steps towards inclusive shopping.