Brad Polsky

Expert in Diversity and Inclusion through Design--and healthcare

I am a Diversity & Inclusion through Design Expert with a background in architecture and finance. My focus is on diversity and inclusion from a healthcare perspective, and how the built environment can provide continuing care to underserved groups with invisible disabilities or other medical issues. As the first non-architect winner of my architecture firm’s innovation award, I researched immediately-implementable ways architects could use inclusive design in restrooms to help people with ostomies, people who catheterize, and other digestive issues. Through that research I joined the Board of the American Restroom Association, where we strongly advocate for single-occupant, all gender restrooms (which can immensely help a wide swath of the population). The ARA has been instrumental in getting changes to the 2018 and 2021 International Plumbing Code to allow for single-occupant restrooms to count towards total fixture counts, among other privacy and universal design code updates.

My work centers on understanding inclusive design as infrastructure: by understanding a wide variety of users, and by breaking down silos in research across biology, economics, and design, spaces can be designed and built that far improve the lives of everyone in them. Other topics I have explored include architectural designs to mitigate migraine, “deep work” office designs that are the opposite of the open office concept, and workspace design for mob programming. These design elements are cross-disciplinary, with elements of change management and understanding software development. I believe the future of design research and inclusive design will be through a wide lens across boundaries with a deep implementation in the design world.

Please message me on Twitter for now to discuss any conversations, collaborations, or projects.