Design for People Autonomy


  • Valentina Gianfrate
  • Francesc Aragall
  • Micaela Antonucci



Design, accessibility, autonomy, Human Centered design, human rights, inclusion


In the last years the debate related to people autonomy has been investigated in different fields of research and experimentation, starting from the relationship between personal autonomy and well-being, the ability to make decisions freely, the affirmation of one's right of choice, (the right to political participation, access to justice or the right to have a family) for the self-determination development (i.e. legal capacity), but at the same time “autonomy” can be interpreted as a complex result of human relationships, strengthening interaction and opportunity. This is valid for everyone, regardless of their health condition or functional limitations; in fact, no human being can be considered completely “autonomous” since everyone acts in a condition of interdependence with others to varying degrees. This last aspect is particularly significant for people with disabilities, because it affects their active involvement in the life of the community in which they live, and their ability to lead an independent life. The concept of independent living was introduced in the Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and it is therefore closely connected to the citizen’s rights of disabled persons. The World Bank (WB) and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that a billion disabled people in the world face some barriers in the inclusion in many vital sectors, such as mobility, job, education, or simply in being socially or politically involved during their everyday life. However, the right to actively participate in the public life and reduce disparities are core elements of a stable democracy. Accessibility is intended as empowerment, meaning the individual and collective awareness of the right to access goods or services within one’s own community.


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How to Cite

Gianfrate, V., Aragall, F. ., & Antonucci, M. (2020). Design for People Autonomy. European Journal of Creative Practices in Cities and Landscapes, 3(2), 1–7.