Those who design products, programs. Websites, services and more not only determine how users deal with all this, how they experience, structure and master their everyday lives. Designers also have a far-reaching influence on who copes with all this, who belongs and who does not. The fact that design can discriminate and promote inequality, but also combat both and open up access, makes its social responsibility clear.
With a barrier-free program launched in February that interlinks analog and digital levels of mediation, the new collection – The Design Museum in Munich is deliberately opening itself up to a wider circle of visitors. The aim is to update the museum’s social mission: to make good design accessible to everyone.
The project “Experience design inclusively“ (link in German) aims to convey part of the collection through videos with translation into sign language and subtitles, by means of audio descriptions, and via listening and reading texts at different language levels. These new offerings are aimed in particular at people with hearing and vision impairments, language comprehension difficulties, or cognitive impairments, but are of course freely available to all visitors. The content will be provided digitally and can be accessed on site at the exhibited objects. The information is also provided in English, which means that the project is aimed at a broad, international audience and offers digital access to one of the world’s most important collections on the history of design.
The project is intended to explore all available options for barrier-free digital mediation and to show, by way of example, how the social promise of inclusion could be realized in Bavaria’s state museums. In addition to barrier-free mediation of content, this also concerns physical accessibility in the museum rooms. For example, the range of services and the infrastructure in the museum should be expanded to include tactile objects and digital guidance systems for the blind.
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