The talk is in 11 parts. It uses history to frame why Normal is a problem and then examples from current practice to discuss possible futures.
Introduction with personal experience of working in research and design for accessible digital and physical products.
2) Inclusion and Diversity
Setting up the problem space by noting the failure to deepen inclusion and diversity in organisations and products.
Reframing the problem from ‘What do we do to be more Diverse?’ to ‘How do we stop being so Normal’?
4) History of Normality
A quick history lesson in 180 years of Normality (using Quetelet, Galton, Thorndike and Burt as key figures).
5) The bias and exclusion of Normal
Clearly stating that Normal, Normality and Norms are biases that exclude. We cannot enable diversity if our tools are biased.
6) The trap of Normal
Given the history, Normality is a trap that holds back organisations
Using acronym to give a clear example of the trap and recognising bias in existing research base. W.E.I.R.D. – White male, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, Democratic.
8) Post Normal Design
Shifting to broader solutions and how organisations are changing their attitudes to Normal and the growing importance of Divergence.
9) Divergence as resilience
Using example from UK government on Groupthink to show importance of supporting divergent opinions in analysis and decision making.
10) Diversity as strategy
Using examples from fashion industry on how lack of diversity creates strategic failures for businesses and how diversity is being used to enable strength.
11) Post Normal enabling new futures
Finishing up by showing that, though breaking the idea of Normal seems both strange and difficult, it is both essential and practical for long-term survival.
About the speakers
Alastair Somerville is a sensory design consultant. He provides expert advice on cognition and person-centered design to companies and public organisations who provide both physical and digital products or services. He facilitates workshops on sensory and emotional design for corporations and major conferences. He is currently involved in accessibility projects for museums across Europe.