Der Cross Innovation Hub wird mit Mitteln aus dem Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) co-finanziert.


District Office: 9 ideas for "Accessibility +"

Eric Karim Cronelis / unsplash.comEric Karim Cronelis /

In the Cross Innovation Lab, employees of the Wandsbek District Office, in cooperation with creative professionals, the Wandsbek Inclusion Advisory Board and Dataport AöR, have collected crucial impulses to turn a great vision into reality. The Wandsbek District Office is planning a new administrative building for more than 700 employees on the so-called Wandsbeker Zollinseln. The distinctive feature of the new building is the specialist office for integration assistance, which takes care of the needs of people with disabilities centrally in Hamburg.


At the beginning of every innovation process there is a vision. Before participating in the Cross Innovation Lab, the Wandsbek District Office clearly formulated this vision: "The new administrative building in Wandsbek will be the most barrier-free administrative building in Germany". Nationwide, the topic of accessibility is defined by various regulations and standards. One of the best-known standards is DIN 18040-1 on the subject of barrier-free construction for public buildings. However, the Wandsbek District Office's requirements go beyond the DIN specifications - but how do you develop new solutions in a subject area that is almost exhaustively regulated?

The approach was to create new added value under the heading Accessibility+. First of all, of course, added value for people with disabilities, but also added value for accessibility beyond the legal requirements and added value through exceptional accessibility for the building. The challenge was set and the participants from the offices, the creative industry, Dataport and external guests had to develop solutions under these aspects within the framework of the innovation process.


In cooperation with experts in architecture and product design, the employees of the district office developed nine elements. The following solution approaches and prototypes were created:

Customer guidance: Those customers of the five specialist offices of the new administration building who use public transport arrive at the Wandsbek Markt stop. They will be guided from there by an intuitive guidance system consisting of information boards, tactile elements and information on the services offered by the public administration and the corresponding buildings of the district office.

Forecourt: Arriving in front of the building, customers meet the forecourt. The forecourt takes up accessibility elements from the building and includes an induction loop for hearing-impaired people, tactile elements in combination with a guidance system, easily visible entrance and functional areas, handholds, benches and a seating area for accompanying animals.

Guidance system: The guidance system should not only include the aspects of DIN 18040-1, but also the various service packages (help for families, help for socially disadvantaged people, help for reintegration, etc.) with colours and symbols and guide them to the appropriate places in the building.

The "Tüpfelchen": The Tüpflechen is a machine that receives visitors and guides them through the house. It is possible to walk behind this robot or sit on it.

The following further ideas have emerged: the +Pass, the employee+ (what's the use of the best technology if employees don't live the accessibility plus?), an audio+video guide and flexible rooms. In addition to these technical and structural solutions, products that already exist are listed. This includes: Blind cane holders, an acoustic door sign and mobile phone charging stations.

Format & Method

In the Cross Innovation Lab, companies work together in changing constellations over a period of six weeks to develop products in a stimulating environment. Experts from the creative industries are systematically involved in the process.

  • Field research: At the beginning, the challenges of the companies are explored in a new depth in cooperation with creative people – and their fresh perspective from the outside.
  • Workshop phase: During four workshop/laboratory days, the companies work together with selected creative professionals to develop new solutions.
  • Feedback loops: Between the laboratories, a concept show with all participating companies takes place in order to further improve the products through joint feedback and exchange.

In an iterative work process, companies develop new products or product adaptations with a significantly reduced expenditure of time.


Unser Partner: Bezirksamt Wandsbek

Das Bezirksamt Wandsbek ist Dienstleister und Ansprechpartner für Bürgerinnen und Bürger, Vereine, Institutionen und Unternehmen in Hamburgs größtem Bezirk. Die vier Dezernate des Bezirksamtes mit insgesamt 16 Fachämtern verwalten den knapp 440.000 Einwohnerinnen und Einwohner starken Bezirk. Neben dem Rathaus Wandsbek am Wandsbeker Markt verfügt das Bezirksamt über zahlreiche weitere Dienststellen die sich u.a. rund um den Wandsbeker Markt und in Außendienststellen in den Regionen des Bezirks befinden. Die Aufgaben der ca. 1.600 Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter reichen von der Ausstellung eines Personalausweises, über die Bearbeitung von Sozialhilfe- und Grundsicherungsangelegenheiten bis hin zur Pflege von Grünflächen und der Organisation von Wahlen.

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Theo Haustein


Theo Haustein

Cross Innovation Hub

T+49 40 879 7986 23