Inclusive Play Framework: An Approach to Promote Awareness about Gender Neutral Play in Portuguese Context


The paper focuses on the practice of developing the Inclusive Play Framework. Being a medium of alternative perception, the framework addresses the need for gender-neutral toys by promoting awareness in adults about gender-neutral play and equal opportunity in children’s formative years. It attempts to connect the intangible idea of being aware of how a toy can be gendered to the tangible formation of utilizing this knowledge in the community and society. This framework is critically formulated, holistically connecting different approaches of Design for Behaviour Change and Inclusive Design to bridge the socio-political differences of gender and establish the significance of Design in ethical and intellectual emergence. The study emphasises Portuguese culture and how different socio-cultural and socio-economic agents affect the initiation of the multidimensional wicked problem of gender discrimination which starts from childhood and with toys as one of the critical objects of play. The framework investigates the necessity to associate multiple scales within these agents connecting design ethnography and the practice of inclusion through changing behaviour. The pragmatic implementations of these agents are Children-Parents, Children-Educators, and Children-Designers. The proposed framework is operationalizable for different users with different levels of complexity to fulfil the need for a comprehensive analysis of the issue. In a systematic way, connecting through logical reasoning, the framework proposes three stages of activities - Identify, Diversify and Inclusivity. This enables to understand different elements of gender discrimination; motivate towards diverse perspectives; and be aware of real-life contextualization with the help of varying change attributes.


Alakesh Dhibar
Student, Doctorate in Design, IADE, Lisboa, Portugal

Eduardo Gonçalves
Assistant Professor and Researcher, Unidade de Investigação em Design e Comunicação (UNIDCOM/IADE), IADE, Faculdade de Design, Tecnologia e Comunicação - Universidade Europeia, Lisboa, Portugal

Antonio Gorgel Pinto
Assistant Professor and Researcher, Design and Multimedia, IADE, Faculty of Design, Technology and Communication, European University, Lisboa, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


2023 Special Focus—New Agendas for Design: Principles of Scale, Practices of Inclusion


Behaviour Change, Gender Discrimination, Awareness, Inclusive Framework, Gender-neutral Play

Digital Media


Inclusive Play Framework (pptx)