Criteria for a Hybrid Place: a tool for creating inclusive leisure venues

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In a landscape where there is limited social mixing, leisure venues which host a vivid cross-section of Amsterdammers, stand out as shining examples of conviviality and hope. Inspired by the concept of hybridity, which breaks down divisions between groups and opens up space for interaction and innovation, we have dubbed such venues ‘hybrid’ places.

So what are the secrets of a hybrid place? This tool is the result of trying to answer that question.

Tool for analysing from a wide set of perspectives

The tool is a simple scan which can be used to holistically observe and analyse the tangible and intangible characteristics of a leisure venue. It will help you map out a structured way important elements like the complex combination of its physical location, architecture and décor, company values & ethos, the quality of service, diversity of personnel, use of language, degree of co-creation with clients and its programming and products. 

But also things like, verbal or non-verbal exclusion strategies (e.g. bouncers at the door). Or transparency on the ‘rules of the game’ for using the venue. And detail on how the venue is marketed via channels, possibly reaching a wide audience. By carefully filling in all the questions, it becomes clear if the leisure venue is truly a hybrid place and/or what it could do more to become so. 

The tool is useful for anybody specifically interested in inclusive leisure. It’s been shared with creative industry students of different disciplines and used in the field by a variety of grass-roots organisations who have created neighbourhood venues where newly-arrived refugees and locals share skills & interests. 

Teaching designing for inclusivity

Upon designing the tool, we also revealed a gap; we need to teach our creative industries students how to design inclusively from scratch. If you are interested in a copy of the scan or the progress of our new Inclusive Design Toolbox for Creative Professionals, please make contact!

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