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Julia Cassim


  • Julia Cassim
  • Area

    The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design


    Visiting Senior Research Fellow

  • Julia Cassim directed the Challenge Workshops at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design until July 2011. She continues to run the Workshops as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow.

    The Challenge Workshops are a pioneering knowledge transfer programme in inclusive design that bring together professional designers at all stages of their career with disabled and older people in a co-design process based on equality and mutual benefit. She joined the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design in 2000, having lived in Japan from 1971 to 1998.

    As arts columnist of The Japan Times Julia wrote extensively on art, traditional design and museum culture. She founded Access Vision, a non-profit organisation for visually impaired people, and curated and designed award-winning exhibitions for audiences with visual impairments and learning disabilities - a strand of work that continues alongside her role at the centre.

    Julia studied fine art at Manchester College of Art and Design and at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, and has an MPhil from the University of Newcastle.
  • Biography

  • Julia Cassim studied fine art at Manchester College of Art and Design and at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music on a Japanese Ministry of Education postgraduate scholarship. She has an MPhil from the International Centre for Heritage Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, is visiting professor at Kyushu University and Hadassah College Jerusalem, a trustee of the charity Mobility Choice and lectures widely on inclusive design in the UK and internationally.

     Julia's main research focus is the development of creative partnerships between people with disabilities and designers, investigating ways to involve them in the design process to encourage innovative, inclusive thinking and the design of mainstream products, services, communications and environments that work better for all.

     The DBA Inclusive Design Challenge, which Julia organised annually from 2000, has proved influential. She has developed and extended the model in different contexts, in the UK and internationally, with 24 and 48 Hour Inclusive Design Challenges held in cities worldwide.

     Julia was included in Design Week's 2010 Hot 50 list of people, organisations and movements that have influenced the design world.

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  • External collaborations

    • Trustee: Mobility Choice and Ricability (2004-2008)
    • Advisor: to Natural History Museum (2006-7)
    • Visiting Professor: Kyushu University Japan (2006 ~) and Hadassah College, Jerusalem (2007 ~)
    • Visiting Lecturer: Tonghi University (2011)
    • External Examiner: Department of Engineering , Cambridge University, University of the Arts London
    • Author: with Goodacre L. (2011) Footwear Design Challenge Workshop, internal Report to Arthritis Research UK
  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Books
    Cassim, J, (2013) Forthcoming 'From Sad Rags to Glad Rags  - the Inclusive Clothing Agenda in Textile-led Design for the Active Ageing', McCann, J. & Bryson, D. (eds),(2013) Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK

    Coleman, R., Clarkson, J., Dong, H. & Cassim, J. (2007) 'Design for Inclusivity,' in the series: Design for Social Responsibility, Ed. Cooper, R. Gower, Hants

    Cassim, J. (l998) 'Into the Light - Museums & their Visually-Impaired Visitors.' Shogakkan, Tokyo ISBN4 -09-387243-0

    Exhibition Catalogues
    Cassim, J. (ed) 'Inclusion by Design' - 10 Years of the DBA Inclusive Design Challenge, The British Council, Seoul ( Korean text)

    Cassim, J., Tsunoda, M. (1994) Art & the Inner Eye # 1 (1994) exhibition catalogue. (Japanese text), Nagoya City Art Museum, Japan

    Book Chapters
    Forthcoming: Cassim, J. (2011) 'Beyond the Touch Tour' in Dent, P (ed) Sculpture and Touch: New Studies in Sculpture series Penelope Curtis (ed), London, UK, Ashgate

    Cassim, J. (2009) 'The Role of Disabled People in the Design Innovation Process' in 'Inclusive Design Workshops - User Literacy and Learning with People with Disabilities,' Ed. Tanpopo no Ye Foundation, Nara, Japan (in Japanese)

    Cassim, J. (2007) 'The Touch Experience in Museums in Japan and the UK - a historical overview and the example of Access Vision' in The Power of Touch Handling Objects in Museum and Heritage Contexts, ed: Elizabeth Pye, Left Coast Press, California. ISBN 978-1-59874-303-6 hardcover ISBN 978-1-59874-304-3 paperback

    Cassim, J. & Dong, H. (2003) 'The Role of the 'Critical' User in Design Innovation - examples from the Small Business Programme of the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre' in Inclusive Design - Design for the whole population, Springer Verlag

    Cassim J. (2002) 'Cross-market Product & Service Innovation - the DBA Challenge Example' Chapter in Keates, S, Clarkson, J,Langdon, P & Robinson, P 'Designing for a More Inclusive World', Springer Verlag ISBN/ISSN: 1852338199

    Cassim J. (l999) 'Some Reflections on Able Art and the Achievements of and Challenges facing the Able Art Movement' (Japanese text) in Toyota Able Art Forum Kara Kangaeru Able Art Movement no Kore Made - Kore Kara published by Toyota Corporation & Able Art Japan, Tokyo

    Peer-reviewed Journals
    Forthcoming: Cassim J & Dong H. (2010) Interdisciplinary Engagement with Inclusive Design - the Challenge Workshops Model in Coleman, R & Clarkson, J. Applied Ergonomics special issue

    Dong, H. & Cassim, J. (2007) Critical User Forums for Inclusive Design in Global Ergonomics, Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Journal, Santa Monica, California, USA

    Cassim, J. (2007) 'It's Not What You Do, It's the Way That You Do It' - A Designer-Centred Inclusive Design Knowledge Transfer Mechanism for Different Contexts in 'Universal Access in Human Computer Interaction. Coping with Diversity' in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 4554/2007, Springer Verlag

    Dong, H., Cassim, J. & Coleman, R. (2007) 'Addressing the Challenges of Inclusive Design' in Universal Access in Ambient Intelligence Environments, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol 4397/2007, Springer Verlag

    Cassim, J. & Dong, H. (2005) 'DBA Design Challenge: engaging design professionals with inclusive design', ACM SIGACCESS Accessibility and Computing archive, Issue 81 (January 2005), pp3-8

    Dong, H., Keates, S., Clarkson, PJ .& Cassim J. (2003), 'Universal Access. Theoretical Perspectives, Practice and Experience: 7th ERCIM International Workshop on User Interfaces for All, Paris. France, October 24-25, 2002, Revised Papers in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 2615/2003, Springer Verlag

    Dong, H., Keates, S., Clarkson, PJ. & Cassim J. (2003) 'Implementing inclusive design: the discrepancy between theory and practice' in Universal access - theoretical perspectives, practice and experience, 2615, 106-117

    Dong, H., Cardoso, C., Cassim, J., Keates, S. & Clarkson, P J. (2002) 'Inclusive design: Reflections on design practice', Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge, Technical Report CUED/C-EDC/TR118

    Conference Proceedings
    Forthcoming: Cassim J & Percovic N. (2011)' Harnessing Inclusivity and Co-Design methods for rebuilding cultural networks and economic transformation in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina, Proceedings of Include 2011, Royal College of Art, London, UK

    Cassim J. (2010) 'Designing Effective User Interactions - examples from the Challenge Workshops,' Proceedings of the 3rd Conference of the International Association for Universal Design IAUD, Hamamatsu, Japan

    Lee Y & Cassim J. (2009) How the Inclusive Design Process Enables Social Inclusion International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) 18-22 October 2009, Seoul Korea

    Ho D, Lee Y & Cassim J (2009) 'What if...users do not know how to be inclusive through design?' Include 2009, Royal College of Art, London , UK

    Cassim J. (2008) The Challenge Workshop - a designer-friendly, cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer mechanism to promote innovative thinking in different contexts. International DMI Education Conference Design Thinking: New Challenges for Designers, Managers and Organizations 14-15 April 2008, ESSEC Business School, Cergy-Pointoise, France

    Cassim J. (2007) 'It's Not what you do it's the way that you do it, the Challenge Workshop a designer-centred inclusive design knowledge transfer mechanism for different contexts, HCI International, Beijing, July 2007

    Goodman J, Langdon P, Clarkson PJ & Cassim J. (2007) 'Engaging the Public in Inclusive Design' Include 2007, Royal College of Art, London, UK

    Goodman J, Cassim J, Langdon P & Clarkson PJC. (2006) 'Participatory Design with Disabled People in a Designer-Centred Inclusive Design Competition,' BHCI 2006 expert workshops, Designing with Elderly for the Elderly

    Cassim J. (2006) Beyond Ergonomics to Desirability -the Challenge workshop model for inclusive design knowledge transfer to designers and industry. Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the International Association for Universal Design IAUD, Kyoto, Japan

    Dong H, Cassim J & Coleman R. (2006) 'Addressing the challenges of inclusive design: a case study approach, 9th ERCIM Workshop 'User Interfaces For All' September 2006

    Goodman J, Cassim J, Langdon P & Clarkson PJ. (2006) 'Participatory Design with Disabled People in a Designer-Centred Inclusive Design Competition.' 'Developing Design Methodologies for Designing for Elderly with Elderly', workshop at HCI 2006, London, UK, 11 Sept 2006

    Goodman J, Langdon P, Clarkson PJC & Cassim J. (2006) 'Engaging the Public in Inclusive Design'in *Designing the Not-Quite-Yet: Ideas and Methods for Engaging the Public in a Digital Future of their Choice*, workshop at HCI 2006, London, UK, 14 Sept 2006

    Dong H, Cassim J, and Coleman R. (2006) 'Addressing the Challenge of Inclusive Design: a Case Study Approach' in the 9th ERCIM Workshop 'Universal Access in Ambient Intelligence Environments', Königswinter (Bonn), Germany, 27 - 28 Sept 2006

    Cassim J. (2005) Designers are Users too! - 'Attitudinal and Information Barriers to Inclusive Design within the Design Community' Include 2005, Royal College of Art, London, UK

    Dong H, Cassim J and Clarkson PJ. (2005) 'Best practice of Critical User Forums', Include 2005, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 5-8 April

    Dong H, Keates, S Clarkson PJ & Cassim J. (2004) ''Discounted' user research for inclusive design' in The Home and Electronic Assistive Technology, HEAT 2004, King's Manor, University of York, UK

    Cassim J. (2003) 'Smart Wearables - a new frontier for inclusive design innovation', Include 2003, Royal College of Art, London, UK

    Cassim J. (2002) 'Smart Textiles/Smart Wearables -Case studies in the application of conceptual design skills and mainstream fashion styling to textiles and wearables for special needs uses and environments.'in Proceedings of Easytex 2002, International Conference on Clothing & Textiles for Elderly and Disabled People, Tampere, Finland

    The Insightful Eye' (2007) - director and producer of film on the work of three contemporary UK artists with visual impairments as a commission for the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2007

    Tokyo University i-school, Tokyo, Japan 5-10 February, 2012

    Kyoto University Museum, Kyoto, Japan, 16 November - 4 December 4

    'Shared Innovation' at the Gallery Amu, Tokyo, Kyoto University Museum and Tokyo University iSchool (February 2012)

    Trading Places - 10 Years of the DBA Inclusive Design Challenge (2010) at the Sackler Centre, Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Exhibition travelled to the Institute of Human-Centered Design, Boston, USA and Design Korea, Seoul, Korea

    Gokan de Miru Kokusai Ten (2004-5) Travelling exhibition of work by six visually impaired artists at the Hayashibara Museum of Art, Okayama, Tanpopo Art Space, Nara & Gallery Artlier, Fukuoka, Japan

    The Work of the HHRC (2004 & 2005) Two exhibitions to Japan on work of the HHC at Toyota Megaweb in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan
    Exhibition on DBA Design Challenge at Include (2003), Royal College of Art, London

    Annual exhibitions on the work of the HHC at Mobility Roadshow (2001-5), Donington Park, Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh, UK

    Echoes of the Spirit (2001-2) - Travelling exhibition of paintings, drawings and calligraphy by Japanese artists with learning disabilities at Diorama Arts Centre, London, Project Ability, Glasgow & Bolton Museum & Art Gallery. Exhibition coordinator

    New Spirit of Japanese Calligraphy (2000) Richard Attenborough for Disability & the Arts, University of Leicester, Project Ability, Glasgow. Exhibition organiser. Won Japan 2001 Award

    Catalogue Essays
    Cassim, J. (2001) One may have good eyes and see nothing' in 'Another Way of Seeing catalogue for 'Another Way of Seeing exhibition at Art Sonje Center, Seoul, South Korea, Korean Association of Blind Artists, Seoul (English & Korean text)

    Cassim, J. (2001) Image Ability'in Adorn/Equip catalogue for Adorn/Equip travelling exhibition at City Gallery Leicester (available online pp 24-29, City Gallery Leicester

    Cassim, J. (2000) New Spirit of Japanese Calligraphy catalogue for New Spirit of Japanese Calligraphy exhibition at the Richard Attenborough for Disability & the Arts, University of Leicester & Project Ability, Glasgow. Tanpopo no Ye Foundation, Nara, Japan (cf.exhibitions)
    Keynote Presentations
    Cassim J. (2012) 'The Inclusive Museum - Designing for broader community engagement' National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Symposium on the Inclusive Museum, 4 March

    Cassim J. (2012) 'Inclusive Design as Process and Product' British Council Macedonia, Skopje, 30 January

    Cassim J. (2011) 'Some thoughts on Inclusive Design as process and result' Inclusive Design Symposium,Kyoto University Museum, Japan, 3 December

    Cassim J. (2011) 'Inclusive Design - where did it come from, where is it going?' Kyushu University, Graduate School of Design, 24 November

    Cassim J. (2011) 'From Passive Subject to Active Design Partner - new partnership models that harness disability to creative, social and business advantage' - LivEnabled Conference, Singapore, 11 November

    Cassim J. (2011) Keynote 'From Passive Subject to Active Design Partner - new partnership models that harness disability to creative, social and business advantage' LivEnabled Conference 2011, Singapore, organised by Centre for Enabled Living (CEL) 10 November

    Cassim J. (2011) Keynote 'Designing with People' 24 HR UD Challenge Tullamore, Ireland 13 October

    Cassim J. (2011) 'Inclusive Design: who are we designing for? 'Croatian Association of Designers, Zagreb 28 March

    Cassim J. (2011) 'Enhancing the desirability and wearability of footwear for people with RA through inclusive design' with Dr Lynne Goodacre at British Association of Podiatrists & Orthotists Conference, Harrogate, 5 March

    Cassim J. (2011) 'Using the Extreme to Engage the Mainstream' Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 4 February

    Cassim J. (2010) 'Engaging designers' Special plenary session, 3rd International Conference for Universal Design in Hamamatsu, Japan, October

    Cassim J. (2010)"Inclusion by Design,' Design Center, Busan, South Korea, 4 December

    Cassim J. (2010) 'Inclusion by Design" Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan, October 25

    Cassim J. (2010) 'Wayfinding and Information Design' Cities for All, Tallinn for All Seminar, Design Night Festival, Estonian Association of Designers, Rotermann Quarter, Tallinn, Estonia, 25 September

    Cassim J. (2010) 'Inclusion by Design' Disabled People's International Arts and Culture Festival, Seoul, South Korea, 15 September

    Cassim J. (2010) 'Engaging Memories' at Holding Memories:Dementia, Memory, Objects and Museums, International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHC) Newcastle University, 7 September

    Cassim J. (2010) 'User Involvement Methodologies in the design of creative technologies for disabled people', Institute Of Creative Technologies (IOCT), De Montfort University, Leicester, 29 July

    Cassim J. (2010) 'Thinking Inclusively' Seoul International Design Workshop, Kookmin University, Seoul, 18 July

    Cassim J. (2010) 'When T-Shaped met T-Shaped - creative partnerships that foster design innovation, We are Enabled by Design seminar, Enabled by Design, Design Museum, London, UK, 17 June

    Cassim J. (2010) 'Harnessing Inclusive Design to Business and Creative Advantage', Korean Institute of Design Promotion, Seoul, South Korea, March

    Cassim J. (2009) 'Inclusive Visual Communication', School of Art & Design, Bath Spa University, 1 December

    Cassim J. (2009) 'Inclusion through Design Innovation', British Council, Osaka, Japan, 26 July

    Cassim, J. (2009) 'The 24 Hour Challenge Model', Trinity Haus, Trinity College Dublin, 10 July

    Cassim J. (2009) " Thinking Inclusively", Kyoto University of Arts and Design, Japan, 8 June

    Cassim J. (2009) 'Inclusive Design - Designing People in' British Rheumatology Conference 09, SECC Glasgow, 1 May 2009

    Cassim J. (2009) 'Inclusive Design' The British Council, Seoul, Korea

    Cassim J. (2009) 'Inclusion through Design', The British Council, Sarajevo, Bosnis Herzgovina, 26 March

    Cassim J. (2009) 'Inclusive Museum practice', for Croatian Museums Association The British Council, London, UK, 3 March

    Cassim J. (2009) 'Business Inovation through Inclusive Design' Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan 23 January

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Innovation through Inclusive Design' University of Tokyo, Japan, Nikkei Design Design Innovation Forum 08, 25 November

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Inclusion through Design' City of Design, Creative Industrial Estate, Shenzen, China, 1 September

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Smart Wearables "Hong Kong Designers Association, Hong Kong, 1 August

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Inclusion by Design' Sizhuan Institute of Fine Arts, Chongqing, China, 3 June

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Inclusion by Design' at Tonghi University, Shanghai, China, 4 June

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Inclusion by Design' at British Council, Beijing,China, 5 June

    Cassim, J. (2008) 'Inclusive Design', Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 5 June

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Engaging the 'Super Me,' Accessibility Summit, Nokia, Helsinki, Finland, 26 May

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Touch and the Non-Visual Imagination - case studies from the Japanese museum experience' at Sculpture & Touch conference, Courtauld Institute, London, UK, 16 May

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Ensuring Cognitive and Physical Access to the Cultural heritage for Excluded Audiences', United Nations Institute for Training & Research, Hiroshima, Japan Roundtable lecture, 14 February

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Thinking Inclusively' User Science Institute, Kyushu University, Japan, 11 February

    Cassim J. (2008) 'Beyond the Comfort Zone' at 'Out of the Comfort Zone: Exploring Sensitive Issues' Visitor Studies Group AGM and Conference, The British Museum, London, UK, 1 February

    Cassim J. (2008) University of Westminster, UK, MA in Inclusive Practice    
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  • Awards and Grants

    • Design Week's 2011 Hot 50 list of people, organisations and movements that have influenced the design world
    • UK-Japan 2008 Collaborative project award by British Embassy, Tokyo for Inclusive Design Challenge Kyoto 2009
    • Japan 2001 Award for 'Echoes of the Spirit ' exhibition
    • College Women's Association of Japan 20th Anniversary Award, 1994