Sustainability and Diversity: The role of UD

Black and white picture of the front of the university in Bucharest RomaniaAuthor and architect Vlad Thiery, says the common view of sustainability is mostly related to energy and resource saving, reducing emissions, etc. He notes that students are still being taught to think about design with an anonymous archetypal user in mind which doesn’t cater for the actual diversity of the population. In his article Thiery charts the history of UD and then lists the beneficiaries of UD, not just accessibility. In his conclusions Thiery says, “By understanding the actual users and by paying attention to the demographic trends, designers can provide an answer to the needs and aspirations of the contemporary world as well as the generations to come.” While followers of UD will have already made the links with environmental sustainability, it is good to see that there are architects willing to put the challenge to their colleagues who are yet to embrace the ideas.

The title of the article is, Universal Design as a Key Feature of the Sustainable Development, and it was published in International Workshop in Architecture and Urban Planning (2015).