Hassell Talks

S4, Ep2 How to design for safety and inclusion in a fast changing city

September 14, 2022

Rail precincts don't always feel like the safest places to be for women, girls and the gender diverse, particularly after dark.

Alert and constantly on guard, it's a relentless navigation of sightlines, lighting, exposure, surveillance and positioning for safety.

As designers, we believe we can do more than simply meet the governing standards and technical requirements demanded of rail stations - we can change the way people feel while using them, creating a more equitable and prosperous society.

Hassell partnered with the team at Monash University's XYX Lab to gather data and a better understanding of the design elements that shape women's perceptions of safety. What we discovered was that through materiality, better lighting design, wayfinding, sightlines and even access to toilets - we can make a big difference into how safe many parts of our population feel.

To explore the findings and see how Hassell is embedding them into our design process on our projects, we brought Principles Alix Smith and Chris Lamborn together with Associate Professor Nicole Kalms for an episode of Hassell Talks.

This episode was recorded in Naarm, on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people of the Kulin nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on.

This episode was produced by Prue Vincent, Julia Mahony and Annie Scapetis.

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