Using your own body size and shape as a guide to design is not enough information if you want to be inclusive with the design. So how do you get this all-important information?
The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland has a set of information sheets on body size and shape. The fact sheets provide data and methods as guidance for designers and purchasers on how to consider and apply human body size and shape in their work to achieve more universally designed products and services.
The project overview states, “The project focussed on how human body size and shape are important considerations for the Universal Design of products, workspaces and the built environment. It addressed the importance of body size and shape in the specification of, and eventual selection of personal everyday products and the procurement of shared equipment such as public furniture. It is understood that designs that consider body size and shape can help to avoid causing users the experience of discomfort, embarrassment, or harm.” There are five fact sheets:
A related paper from 2014 takes body size and shape further and applies it to mobility devices. The guide to the circulation requirements for various wheeled mobility devices is from Denmark. It includes research on the spatial needs for parking as well as toilets and building entries as well as accessible paths of travel.
Charts with dimensions of the various mobility types is included and includes tables for children and the bariatric population. The guide also discusses the need to think to the future of mobility devices and not assume that the size and styles will remain the same.