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Pioneer of inclusive design, Pattie Moore, awarded honorary doctorate by Sheffield Hallam

15 Dec 2021

Following her honorary doctorate award last month, designer and social scientist Pattie Moore will visit Lab4Living next Spring as a visiting researcher.

Pattie Moore is credited as one of the founders of Universal Design, and her work has inspired generations of designers to rethink how products and services can be designed to meet the needs of the widest range of consumers possible.

In 1979, at the age of 26 Pattie embarked a 3-year experiment to explore life as it might be for an older person. This was a completely immersive experience. Disguised as an 85-year-old woman with glasses that blurred her vision, bandages around her torso and wearing awkward, uneven shoes she travelled through the United States and Canada, visiting over 100 Cities and using this experience to build understanding of the everyday challenges older people faced and how they were treated.

Prof Claire Craig said:

The findings of Pattie’s research were ground-breaking. It highlighted how products and environments could themselves be disabling and brought into focus some of the difficulties older people faced in navigating the world on a daily basis.

This work was key in identifying the stigmatising nature of ageing and importance of design and the role it has to play. Pattie continues to challenge the status quo and to blaze a path for inclusiveness. She holds many accolades, has written widely on inclusive design, and continues to inspire the next generation. To the graduating classes of 20202 and 2021 at Sheffield Hallam University, Pattie sent her congratulations:

I am confident that as the protectors and providers of our future life’s quality you will not only meet, but exceed, what is expected in a world where we welcome the creative delivery of dignity and equity for all.

Pattie Moore (Hon D.Arts, Sheffield Hallam University)

Although Pattie was not able to attend last month’s graduation ceremony in person to receive her award, we are excited to announce that she will be visiting the Lab next Spring. We will be arranging a series of activities which link to our ongoing research on Re-imagining ageing.

Watch this space for updates!