Blue Badge Style: Rewarding Inclusive Design in Hospitality
We are so honoured to be shortlisted for the Blue Badge Style Awards. Blue Badge Style is ‘Redefining Disability with Style’ by celebrating good design in hospitality; encouraging businesses to not only think about the basics of accessibility but to be inspired to design for style and practicality. Too often we see businesses that have a beautiful bathroom for able-bodied folk and a box-like space filled with white plastic for disabled users. Often shoved in for compliance reasons rather than for a design opportunity, the disabled toilet (or lack thereof) can indicate the overall feeling of the business towards people with mobility issues.
When we were designing Kindred with Studioshaw and BB Contracts, we knew that we wanted the values we stand for to be celebrated in our design. We have a fully accessible building with a working lift to all floors, with wide corridors and doorways, we have gender-non-specific bathrooms, with many of our cubicles labelled “YOU”. We tried to design for beauty with a hint of luxury as well as being practical and flexible for our community of members and customers.
The Social Model of Disability says that “people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference”. It’s the role of society to acknowledge and reduce barriers (both physical and attitudinal barriers) to create more opportunities for active engagement for anyone who has a disability, and move towards a more equal society.
Blue Badge Style is doing important work. By rewarding attempts by businesses to design for inclusion, and celebrate inclusion through beautiful and practical design, it will inevitably lead to more conversation and creativity in the hospitality sector. We love being a part of this movement. Kindred will always strive to be forward thinking and creative; celebrating the diversity of our community through value-led design.
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