The commercial viability of inclusive design

News  |  Mar 04, 2022  |  Dave Bowater


Hello, hello, my name's Tim from Islabikes. We’ve had an overwhelming response to our Joni 20 and 24 launch, our bikes for people with disproportionate dwarfism. We've had some really funny messages coming through to, particularly around the commercial viability of a project like this, and I'd just like to share a few thoughts I've got on the topic.

To mass produce a product, you need a mass market, and mass markets are usually average; average height, average weight, average arms, average legs – you name it, it’s average, and I've practically just described myself. The high street has been designed for you - for average, where there is an abundance of choice and if you’re not average, the options on the proverbial high street can be somewhat limiting or even non-existent, because there's lots of money to be made in mass markets and relatively little, at least by comparison, in the smaller ones. In a society that usually values profit over people, or at least so often does, many people get left behind.

The onus is on us as designers and manufacturers to produce products that are both inclusive, and commercially viable. 

If you have any questions or thoughts please hit us up in the comments, send us an email or even a phone call.