Tag Archives: universal design

Universal Design for Who?

Pyramid describing various users who benefit from UA. The bottom of the pyramid includes agile users, as the pyramid moves up it illustrates examples of limitations that people start to face, including age, gender, culture and various life stages. The top of the pyramid is a person who might need the assistance of two other people to function optimally in an environment or to experience a service fully.

Written by Colette Fransolet of Inclusive Design

Colette Fransolet

Universal Design, which is the action (verb) of creating Universal Access (adjective), benefits a large percentage of our population. Universal Design, which can also be referred to as “good design” recognises that all people have different requirements and abilities, that would enable them to contribute fully in all spheres if life.

Universal Access responds to individual and shared needs and is not associated with “special” needs.

Therefore being cognisant and designing appropriately means considering the needs of children, elderly people, persons with mobility, sight and/or cognitive limitations, persons who have linguistic challenges (eg: foreigners, people who are uneducated or persons with various forms of dyslexia), women who are pregnant, parents pushing prams or strollers, persons who are inebriated, persons who have become obese, very tall people, very short people, service personnel (cleaning staff and people doing deliveries) and people who require luggage access. The crux of Universal Access is therefore that all people, at some point during their lifetime, will experience “disability” due to being unable to participate in a social, cultural, political or economic activity. It is therefore fundamental to the concept of UA that it be understood that it is not the person that has the disability or lack of function that prevents their participation, but rather that the environment, service, facility, information or system poses a disability onto a person.

These concepts are not new and are largely supported by well published experts in the field of Universal Design (such as W. Preiser and E. Ostroff (editors) of the Universal Design Handbook (2001), published in the USA by McGraw-Hill, and S. Goldsmith author of Universal Design: A manual of Practical Guidelines for Architects (2000) published in Oxford by Architectural Press).

Selwyn Goldsmith made valuable contribution of the understanding of Universal Design, and one such contribution was through the well published and commonly referenced drawing, called the “Universal Design Pyramid” (2000: 3), which demonstrates the bottom-up approach of UD, with the bottom row demonstrating fit and agile people and the top row demonstrating a person who would require the assistance of two other people. Goldsmith’s pyramid serves to illustrate people who are most vulnerable to architectural discrimination, which is consequently depicted by persons with mobility limitations, with the only exception being a person using a guide dog (in row 5 of the original pyramid).

Preiser and Ostroff (2001: Chapter 3.11) made the following statement, referring to the designing for people on either end of the age spectrum:

“As we struggle for a world that is seamlessly accessible, seamlessly supportive, and seamlessly caring, we must never forget that no machine will ever be able to replace the superior wisdom that comes only with age and experience.” And “neither should we forget that it is childhood that provides the foundation for that superior wisdom”

Working as a Universal Access Consultant and having the privilege to have experienced the process of understanding that many of my clients go through, I wanted to be able to use the concept of the pyramid from Goldsmith, but in the broader context. Often (in fact mostly) clients who would like to have a Universal Design Access Plan put in place to reach better BBBEE scores or to accommodate an employee who has become disabled, mostly consider people with mobility limitations as the only spectrum of people to accommodate when it comes to Universal Access. In order to overcome this limited understanding of the users, I have added to and slightly modified Goldsmith’s pyramid to be more inclusive of the spectrum of people who benefit from Universal Access, not only in the built environment but also through services, information and systems.

While the top of the pyramid is still defined by a person with a mobility limitation who requires the assistance of two people, the rest of the pyramid demonstrates the wider range of users of spaces, services and environments, including a range of functional abilities, cultural requirements, daily activities, a variation in age, health, communication and auditory requirements. The notion of the pyramid is that by designing for a particular row, the users below that row would also benefit from the resulting design, but that users above that row would be unable to function optimally in the design.

If you’d like to find out more about how to include various users in a space, service and environment, please visit https://www.inclusivedesign.co.za/, we’d love to hear from you. (This article, written by the author, is from https://www.inclusivedesign.co.za/universal-access-for-who)

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Design against the elderly

I wrote the book on user-friendly design. What I see today horrifies me
The world is designed against the elderly, writes Don Norman, 83-year-old author of the industry bible Design of Everyday Things and a former Apple VP.

>>Articulo traduzido al español por “Mayores de Hoy” en Diseño en contra…

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When empathy is not enough

Designers need to go beyond empathy to include the disabled community as participants in design solutions.

By Shaina Garfield, Industrial Design Intern, frog

The Disability Design Panel was hosted by Shaina Garfield in frog’s New York studio. Video with closed captioning above.

In 2015, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that I thought I would heal from within a few months. Years passed and I did not heal. At points, I was unable to walk and needed a cane, yet I refused to consider myself disabled. I was embarrassed by the thought of it. However today, nearly four years later, I am proud to identify with such an amazing community.

Being a disabled designer has given me given unique skills to see the built world in a different way, because it has not been designed for disabled people. To explore these perspectives, I joined the WITH Fellowship, a program that facilitates design with the disability community by partnering disabled creatives in top design studios.

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Designing with and for People with Dementia

Designing with and for People with Dementia: Wellbeing, Empowerment and HappinessInternational Conference 2019 of the MinD consortium, the DRS Special Interest Group on Behaviour Change and the DRS Special Interest Group on Wellbeing and Happiness
Date: Thursday-Friday 19-20 September 2019

Venue: TU Dresden, Germany
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Universal Design Toolkit

With rising health care costs & disability challenges, today’s Boomer generation wants to age at home …
with independence, safety and peace of mind.

  Are you ready to meet their demands??

By Universal Design Expert and motivational speaker Rosemarie Rossetti

“My new book is a great resource as you prepare to live in your home for a lifetime. As a person who uses a wheelchair and designed and built my home, the Universal Design Living Laboratory, let me help you remodel your home and know what to look for in your next home.

This is a great reference for occupational therapists, builders, remodelers, architects, interior designers, Realtors, physical therapists, and consumers.”

“Universal Design Toolkit: Time-saving ideas, resources, solutions, and guidance for making homes accessible” is a 200-page full color illustrated resource packaged with four hours of online videos and webinars.

Learn more, get a free chapter, and buy this Toolkit at Universal Design Toolkit

SYMPOSIUM – Speculative Design: Afrofuturist and indigenous projections

SYMPOSIUM

Speculative Design: Afrofuturist and indigenous projections

1.45-8PM, Wednesday 2 May 2018

Banqueting Suite, Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street

London SW1P 4JU

This afternoon symposium brings together researchers and practitioners whose work engages with the themes of Afrofuturism, Indigenous Futures, and other emerging areas of science-fictional/future-orientated cultural practice in which people of colour, indigenous cultures and non-Western subjects take centre stage.

Speculative design will be addressed in terms of its ability to raise problems, rather than solve them. As a tool for speculation, it opens up spaces for presenting problems, to model alternatives, and to generate imaginative responses. It will be explored in relation to cultural practices including art, comics and science fiction writing.

SCHEDULE

13.30 – 14.00 Registration
14.00 – 14.15 Introduction to symposium proceedings

Dan Byrne-Smith

14.20 – 15.05 Keynote

Afrofuturism: Imaginaries, Realities and Practices

Professor Julian Henriques

15.10 – 15.55 Designing a Black Futurity

Florence Okoye

16.00 – 16.45 Finding Fatima: An exercise in location

Natascha Nanji

16.45 – 17.15 Break
17.15 – 18.00 Make It So: World-building in–and out of–Cyberspace

Skawennati

18.05 – 18.50 Keynote

This Is Not My Beautiful House:

Reclaiming Our Futures from a Techno-Orientalist Vision

Kelly Kanayama

18.50 – 20.00 Drinks

This symposium is convened by Dr Dan Byrne-Smith, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art theory, Chelsea College of Arts and presented by the Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Graduate School Public Programme.

Tickets: £8/6 concessions (includes a post-event drink)

Bookings: http://bit.ly/speculative-design-symposium