There are many definitions and explanations of universal/inclusive design. But sometimes the concept is expressed better by the way people talk about it. Here are some quotable quotes on universal design.
The Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA) located at the University at Buffalo has a banner. The text reads,
“The essence of universal design lies in its ability to create beauty and mediate extremes without destroying differences in places, experiences, and things”. It is attributed to Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick, Designers.
The website of Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA) explains:
“In simple terms, design thinking is about recognizing the designer’s methods for connecting the user’s needs with what is technologically possible and which provides a real market value.
The universal design conference held in Dublin 2018 began with the words, “Good Design Enables. Bad Design Disables. The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design has a good, but wordy description of universal design.
Apple is well-known for making their products really easy to use. Here is a quote from Steve Jobs:
“Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”
Steve Jobs, former CEO, Apple
The text in the sign by Arthur Chan says:
Diversity is a fact.
Equity is a choice.
Inclusion is an action.
Belonging is an outcome.
All are part of a universal design approach.
From the Editor: I met Judith Heumann on a study tour when she was disability advisor to The World Bank in 2004. She said to me,
“There are only two kinds of people in the world: people with disability and people yet to have a disability.”
She also said that it is easier to change the design of the environment than it is to change attitudes and that’s why universal design is important.
Judith’s TEDx talk is worth a look. It reminds us how she was treated at school as a wheelchair user and how she became a disability advocate.
Overheard at a workshop:
“So if you design for the extremes you include the middle”