Livable Housing Design – is it likely to work?

In this paper from the State of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference in 2011, Margaret Ward traces the history of National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design to the current organisation, Livable Housing Australia and the voluntary code, the Livable Housing Design Guidelines.  She outlines why the voluntary approach is unlikely to work and that regulations will be the only way to accomplish the roll-out of more accessible homes.

Download Margaret Ward’s 2011 paper PDF

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Equity and inclusion through housing design

Jane Bringolf’s presentation to the Brisbane Housing Forum in May 2014. She discusses different perspectives on human rights, particularly in an era of demand for cost-benefit analyses and asks the question, how can we attain our rights within a market discourse, when those who do not experience social and economic exclusion have the the power of the market in their hands?

PDF document Housing Forum Brisbane 2014  

Word document Housing Forum Brisbane 2014  

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Norway universally designed by 2025

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The Norwegian Government has taken the principles of universal design and applied them to their planning policies.  This has the effect of making everyone responsible for inclusion at every level – in the built environment, outdoor areas, transport, and ICT.  You can download their latest action plan Norway universally designed by 2025.

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Getting in the door: the public interest in the design of private housing

Margaret Ward presented the inaugural Robert Jones Memorial Oration in Brisbane in 2014.  She recounts the life of Robert Jones and his dream to make public spaces and places accessible to everyone.  Margaret challenges popular assumptions about how accessible housing will be achieved using the evidence from her PhD study on the private housing market.

Download the pdf version: Margaret Ward Robert Jones Memorial Lecture 2014,

Download the Word version: Margaret Ward Robert Jones Memorial Lecture 2014

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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.

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Universal Design Guidance and the ICF

icfFor people who are interested in ICF related research, this universal design guidance demonstrates how the World Health Organisation, International Classification of Functioning, Health and Disability (ICF) can be applied to the development of design guidance standards by using a set of linking rules along with related classifications to represent the interaction of human functions, activities, and environmental factors.  The document can be downloaded here.

See also Steinfeld and Danford’s crosswalk of UD principles with the ICF

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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

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