Design for All: Why Inclusive Design Matters - PRIDE 2023

To celebrate PRIDE Month 2023, we asked our "Bergies" to define their personal concept of inclusivity, and more specifically, inclusivity behind the design lens.
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This Pride Month, we wanted to recognize and honor the unique perspectives of our team members. We asked our "Bergies" why inclusivity in design matters – recognizing the impact of inclusivity on various aspects of their lives, such as within the workplace, in the design work that they do, or how it ties into their personal experiences within society at large.

Let’s continue to share what inclusivity means to us every day and keep creating spaces that make diversity thrive!

Hear their reflections, experiences, thoughts, and hopes for how we leverage our role as leaders within the design industry to integrate inclusivity into our design process effectively through project work, client/team relationships, communications, and beyond below:

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Peter Nobile, Senior Architect

I think we could do a better job advocating for changes around gender-specific bathroom design... I think the growing awareness around LGBTQIA+ and non-binary people’s restroom needs are just as important as straight and cis-gender people’s restroom needs, and I strongly believe that as a society we need to affirm the worth and dignity of every person.

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JJ Nelson, Associate, Director of Brand Communications

For me, inclusive design is experienced in spaces that recognize and celebrate diversity and uniqueness for any and all users it encounters. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, there are many considerations for designers to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment for all users, many of which have historically been overlooked or not prioritized. Inclusive design should consider the full range of human diversity, specifically regarding gender, culture, accessibility/disabilities, language, age, and any other differentiating factors that minority groups experience.

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Jenny Reagan, Senior Marketing Manager

I appreciate spaces that account for a range of needs and comforts. Inclusive design can create many opportunities for improving people's experiences when they venture beyond their homes. Restrooms and wellness rooms are the first things that come to mind when I think about inclusive design. Knowing that a comfortable bathroom is available will positively impact a person's experience, whether at work, at a restaurant, or in most situations. For instance, bathrooms with changing tables are helpful when I take my kids out and should be available for all parents. Wellness rooms at workplaces aren't a new concept, but they are another considerable inclusive design opportunity since they provide a respite for employees who need a private moment.

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Sha Anwar, IT Support Specialist

Inclusive Design to me in the world of IT means treating everyone equally and considering people of all experiences when creating solutions for many ongoing problems. I think technology is one of those things that everyone will need to get used to, so I hope to make sure everyone is a bit more comfortable using their devices after reaching out to me. The tech is here and from now on it’ll only get more complex, so I think helping people appreciate tech now will help with the unknown future.

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Matt Hyatt, Principal, Vice President

Inclusive design fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion by acknowledging and appreciating the distinct perspectives and requirements of individuals. It necessitates designers actively encourage equal participation and engagement among users and project teams. By doing so, we collectively incorporate a broad spectrum of user perspectives, needs, and abilities right from the outset of the design process.

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Daniela Acevedo, Designer

Inclusive design means considering decisions that allow groups of people to feel welcome, accepted, and supported in a space - enabling [them] to be comfortable taking up space for its intended use & participating in the interactions that give it life. Those decisions when informed by diverse ways of thinking about logistics, user experience & impact give way to design that is inspiring, intriguing, and innovative. It reminds our communities that the built environment is created with everyone in mind & isn't isolationist.

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Lisa Statkiewicz, Associate, Design Practice Leader

Inclusive Design for me goes beyond just how we shape the space. For me, making sure you have a way in the design process for all voices to be heard is very important. This means we should come from a place of empathy and be open to the different kinds of people on your team. Ensuring there is a way for all voices to be heard. The more we open up the dialog during design the more opportunity there is for ownership, empowerment and growth for everyone involved in the project.

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Angela Dewar, Associate, Senior Interior Designer

Working in a creative field, especially one as collaborative as Bergmeyer, we always embrace inspiration wherever and whenever it comes our way. Some of the most inspiring and thoughtful ideas have come from many of my colleagues and design partners who have vastly different perspectives and life experiences than I have. I am so grateful for their ability to share those candidly with myself and the team. Ultimately these open work sessions lead to an incredibly enriching design and foster a much more inclusive atmosphere to work within.