The National Library Board of Singapore is embracing new ways of reading, learning and creating knowledge. Their aim in revamping their libraries is to be inclusive of learning styles as well as being physically accessible. The title of the article is, Every Reader a Library, Every Library its Reader: Designing Responsive Libraries for Our Communities.
This article focuses on the importance of social connectedness for older people and how this is essential for ongoing health and wellbeing. However, environments continue to be designed and built in ways that are often detrimental to older people being able to get out and about and socialise.
The research showed that the qualities of “safety”, “attractiveness” and “inclusiveness” respectively are the most influential factors on the sociability of older people. The results also determined that fear of injury is the most limiting factor in using urban spaces.
Download the article by H. Khosravi , F. Gharai, and Sh. Taghavi, in the International Journal of Architectural Engineering and Urban Planning.
Abstract: Due to the change of lifestyle and improvement of public health the number of aged people has considerably increased. Considering the relationship of the environment and people, the built environment features could exacerbate or facilitate the elderly people’s vulnerability and social needs. Recently, a large number of studies have put emphasis on the relationship between the neighborhoods’ open spaces attributes and seniors’ social needs. This study seeks to investigate the impact of the built environment indicators on the time the elderly spent in urban spaces of Banafsheh neighborhood in Mashhad. In order to do this, through a cross-sectional survey research, 33 indicators were collected from recent studies and categorized in seven main urban design qualities based on perceived and self-report data collected by questionnaire. A regression analysis revealed the impact of each quality on the sociability of the elderly. Results demonstrate that in this context, “safety” is the most effective factor on the elderly presence in open spaces. “Attractiveness” and “all age presence” are at the next points.
Abstract: This paper describes a design Charrette conducted in a graduate course on Universal Design (UD), in which students, here professional architects, developed a design project for a public-service centre. The goal of the Charrette was to understand the effectiveness of this type of teaching method to increase the designers’ sensitivity toward UD issues and gain knowledge on participatory processes. The Charrette involved potential users with various disabilities who evaluated the design proposal using tactile maps and other communication media. The Charrette exercise included Wayfinding as an important topic in the design of buildings and urban spaces. Issues related to this aspect were translated into flowcharts as diagrams and tactile representations. The participation of users with disabilities was evaluated. The results showed that the Charrette, as a teaching method, was successful in making the student group examine questions regarding UD. However, the student group continued to be primarily concerned with the design’s formal aesthetic issues, and the process differed little from the traditional “designerly” ways of doing things. An analysis of the participatory phase showed that potential users with visual disabilities had difficulties understanding the design and the wheelchair users criticized various questions of access and barrier-free Wayfinding. Recommendations to improve “design for all” education are presented. To increase the sensitivity of professional designers to issues concerning UD, potential users with A universal design Charrette conducted in an educational setting to increase professional sensitivity of professional designers to issues concerning UD, potential users with disabilities should participate early in the design process, to provide input as the proposal is developed. Introducing a multidisciplinary design team should also be tested to include a larger variety of viewpoints in design decisions. This approach may strengthen the concern for elements of an architectural and urban design that directly affect person-environment relationships.