Inclusive and accessible packaging design

Supervisor: Professor Oya Demirbilek

Inclusive and accessible packaging design

The disability market is estimated to be over 1 billion people, as big as the size of China, or 1 in 5 people. These are people of diverse levels of ability and ages that need access to products, spaces, services, information, knowledge and digital environments. This is also closely related to the trend of personalisation, by providing different ways for people to participate in learning, working, and human experiences. Chronic joint and musculoskeletal conditions are among the most prevalent forms of disabilities; including arthritis, neurological conditions, movement disorders and other related degenerative disorders. Arthritis alone manifests itself in more than 100 conditions affecting joints and surrounding structures, and is one of the most common, expensive and disabling of all chronic conditions, with 4 million sufferers in Australia. People with these chronic conditions are significantly impacted by inaccessible environments, products, and packaging throughout their daily life, affecting their well-being and quality of life; together with their caregivers, family members, friends, local support networks, employers and communities. Most products and packaging become harder or impossible to handle and use with a joint and/or musculoskeletal impairment; causing unnecessary physical pain, inability to do certain tasks, malnutrition, as well as taking an emotional toll on people with these conditions by reducing independence and wellbeing in daily life. This offers new opportunities for industry in the form of improved outputs and innovations in more accessible and inclusive designs, that can cater for new markets and future consumers.

This Honours research stream will support project proposals that explore food packaging with accessibility and inclusive design in mind, as well as the sustainability and the potential service components.

The industry partners related to this project are:

Non-Profit Organisations Organisations and centres Academic institutions
Arthritis Australia Good Design Australia UNSW
Built Environment + Disability Innovation Institute + Social Policy Research Centre
Arthritis New Zealand Centre for Inclusive Design
Cerebral Palsy Alliance Centre Centre for Universal Designfor Accessibility
Huntington's NSW / ACT Centre for Universal Design
MND Australia (Motor Neurone Disease) Meals on Wheels UTS
MS Australia Breville Group University of Sydney
Centre for Disability and Policy
Muscular Dystrophy Foundation of Australia + A wide range of packaging companies
Parkinson's Australia   The George Institute for Global Health
Stroke Foundation
Cystic Fibrosis Australia

View Presentation Slides >


Arthritis Australia Industry Guidelines:

Arthritis Australia, How accessible is food & drink packaging? Industry Perception VS Consumer Reality - Survey Highlights from Industry Perception vs Consumer Reality, Arthritis Australia

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012. Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings

Blomkamp, Emma. 2018. The Promise of Co‐Design for Public Policy, Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 77, no. 4, pp. 729–743.

Catalyst Research, 2013. ‘Packaging Survey Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand’

Epicor, 2019. Food and Beverage Industry Trends: How UK manufacturers can grow amidst ever-changing consumer demands

Holmes, kat, 2019. How inclusion shapes design, UW Communication Leadership's Master Class in Accessibility and Inclusive Design, April 18, 2019

Koskinen, I.; Zimmerman, J.; Binder, T.; Redström, J.; Wensveen, S. Design Research Through Practice. From the

Lab, Field, and Showroom; Morgan Kaufmann: Waltham, MA, USA, 2011.

Mintel, 2019. Global Food and Drink Trends 2019

---, 2019. The Benefit of Designing for Everyone, May 2019, Report prepared by PwC Australia, Centre for Inclusive Design