Beyond Universal Design: What else can designers do?

UD-logo-200x200Transcript from the live captioning of Guy Luscombe’s presentation, Beyond Universal Design: What else can designers do?

Guy outlines his research in Europe which included engagement with older residents in care settings and found some unexpected results.  He was looking for innovative buildings for housing and care for older people.  Large windows was an unexpected finding and he goes on to discuss why this might be one of the most desirable features, among others, for older people.

Guy Luscombe Presentation Transcript PDF

Guy Luscombe Presentation Transcript Word


The principles of universal design, as they are realised in buildings and products, focus on physical and physiological needs such as accessibility and of ease of use.

However, despite being hinted at by principles of equitability and simplicity, the more emotional and psychological barriers, such as stigmatisation and social exclusion, are not usually actively addressed in building design.

True universal design would surely address this and try to design for the whole person. But is it possible and if so, how can the more emotional and psychological needs be addressed in design?

This presentation will draw upon an exploration of innovative buildings for older people completed as part of a Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship study tour recently completed to suggest that there are ways to design for the whole person and provide a more thorough, richer and ultimately more inclusive universality.

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