Design beyond Disability: Emotional Scenarios for the Well-being of People with Parkinson's Disease


In today’s society, the social inclusion concept embraces numerous aspects and contexts of everyday life. Inclusive Design, going far beyond the design of products/services, plays a crucial role in fostering the inclusion of individuals within society and improving their living conditions. Inclusive design, however, must ensure a more humane and conscious design process that does not limit its attention solely to artefacts’ usability requirements but allows for the inclusion and evaluation of the emotional effects associated with interacting with them. This aspect is of particular importance in the case of products and environments aimed at vulnerable, elderly or disabled people, which can induce a perception of threat and stigmatize their physical and mental condition. Therefore, the work proposed in this article presents the results that emerged from the “Home Care Design for Parkinson’s Disease” research project. Through literature review, it was possible to analyse the contribution of technologies in generating pleasurable sensory experiences, but above all, to investigate the role of Emotional Design, Empathic Design and Evidence-Based Design approach. They can play a role in enabling the resolution of problems related to environmental, perceptual-sensory and stress factors and, in some cases, in slowing down the course of the disease, ensuring greater well-being. Therefore, the research work, developed through the application of Human-Centered Design methodologies, aims to: -define Design Guidelines to identify people with Parkinson’s disease needs and difficulties within the home context; - propose design solutions and future intervention scenarios that can improve their quality of life, their families and caregivers.


Ester Iacono
PHD Design, Architecture, University of Florence, Firenze, Italy

Mattia Pistolesi
Researcher, Architecture DIDA, University of Florence, Firenze, Italy

Francesca Tosi
full professor, Dep. Architecture, University of Florence, Firenze, Italy


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design in Society



Digital Media


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Design beyond Disability (pdf)