7 Principles of universal design

ron_maceThe seven principles of universal design were devised in the mid nineties, but still hold today. They remain a good reference point or framework for designing any building, open space, product, phone app, or document. They were developed by a working group of architects, product designers, engineers and environmental design researchers led by the late Ron Mace (pictured).

A good example of explaining the principles can be found on the website of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland. Briefly the principles are:

  1. Equitable Use
  2. Flexibility in Use
  3. Simple and Intuitive to Use
  4. Perceptible Information
  5. Tolerance for Error
  6. Low Physical Effort
  7. Size and Space for Approach and Use

An update to this list was published in 2012 by Steinfeld and Maisel as the 8 Goals of Universal Design. They are more action based than the principles, and include cultural inclusion.

In 2006 Steinfeld and Danford also ‘crosswalked’ the principles to the ICF – a handy reference for academics utilising the ICF for activities and participation.

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Barriers to Universal Design in Australian Housing

IMGP0308 20percentJane Bringolf prepared a 2000 word version of her PhD thesis for the FICCDAT Conference held in Toronto, Canada in 2011. In short the research question asked why we are still building and designing homes as if none of us is ever going to grow old. The simple answer is that the industry runs on regulations to hold the house building system together, so nothing will change without regulations. Read the paper to find out more about the complexities of the house building industry and resistance to change.

(FICCDAT is, Festival of International Conferences on Caring, Disability, Aging and Technology and is held every five years.) You can also download the slide show from the conference UD Australian Housing Bringolf slideshow

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail