The Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors research project in the UK has discovered many of the factors that encourage people, especially older people, to get out and about and keep doing so. The project is now complete, but they have kept a legacy website with lots of information and resources and a short video. Unfortunately the video isn’t captioned. They continue to maintain a Twitter account for the continuation of the work through the networks that were developed during the project. While this project focused on older people, a well designed environment is good for everyone.
You can download a quick overview of their work in a PDF file (1.6MB). Once again, this research raises the importance of footpaths – having footpaths and having them maintained to avoid trip hazards. Below is an except from the Key Messages in the Overview:
“The desire to get out and about does not diminish in older age, nor does the variety of activities people like to do outdoors. If older people live in an environment that makes it easy and enjoyable for them to go outdoors, they are more likely to be physically active and satisfied with life and twice as likely to achieve the recommended levels of healthy walking. The same is true for those who live within ten minutes’ walk of a park. The pedestrian experience is vitally important to older people, who are most often on foot when out and about. For the many who find it difficult to get around, it is often due to the poor design, provision, installation or upkeep of neighbourhood features, especially footways.”
A recent article published in The Conversation about inclusive communities suggests neighbourhood and urban planning have a key role in promoting diversity, and through diversity comes safety and inclusiveness. This is particularly the case for adults with an intellectual disability.
The authors stress the “main issue is not the type of accommodation, but its location. The neighbourhood, its design, and the community of people who live there are all significant factors for supporting safety and inclusion.” And surprisingly the exclusion of cars (in terms of thoroughfares) via a return to the cul-de-sac is seen as a significant design principle to reconsider for inclusive neighbourhoods. Preliminary results found three critical aspects for designing an inclusive neighbourhood:
- actual and perceived safety within the street and neighbourhood
- access to services and amenities via walking, cycling or public transport
- inclusion in community life and local neighbourhood activity.
This post was submitted by Nicholas Loder, Deputy Chair, CUDA.
Hospitals and and other health facilities are meant to make us well. But are they designed with healing in mind? Michael Murphy’s TED talk critiques the design of spaces for healing. He asks, “if hospitals are making people sicker, where are the architects and designers to help us build and design hospitals that allow us to heal?” Michael’s talk begins with how his father’s illness caused him to study architecture.
Watch the 15 minute video in the link below. A transcript is also available:
People with Down syndrome sometimes experience space in public and home environments in a different way to others. A study of people with Down syndrome carried out in Belgium revealed some very interesting results. For example, the separation of spaces is not always clear if there is no architectural delineation. Participants showed a preference for brightness, large windows, and illuminated objects and surfaces. Privacy of space was also important, particularly quiet space. Familiar landmarks and furniture were also important. The discussion section of the paper provides more insights that could help designers consider the intellectual perspectives of users, and not just for people with Down syndrome. The paper also makes links to universal design.
The title of the paper is, “Inclusion of Down Syndrome in Architectural Design: Towards a Methodology”. Authors are Clémintine Schelings and Catherine Elson from the University of Liège
You can download it in PDF (400kb) or in Word (2MB)