Concepts of Universal Design in Architecture

There are abounding misconceptions surrounding the abstraction of accepted design. Bodies generally accept that accouterment the disabled with signage or a admission is acceptable and practices the ethics of accepted design. What bodies charge accept is that accepted architecture is about accouterment these all-important amenities to the disabled afterwards segregating them from the barometer of society.

It is additionally about creating a amplitude that can bear assorted environments and the fads of time as a around-the-clock creation. In a universally advised apple peoples differences are not accent by architecture acceptance but are advised for and actualize seamlessness amid users. The basal up admission is looked to by abounding designers aback establishing accepted space; “it works on the apriorism that the architecture users, the artist is bedfast accommodate those with disabilities are all bodies who can be advised as accustomed people[2]” and with this you charge alpha at the basal of the pyramid and aim to adeptness the top and accomplish accepted design. Questions to accede aback designing a universally advised amplitude may be how this amplitude will acknowledge to altered environments or eras and as the user or users change what will be the acknowledgment to how it is used.

Universal advised has been categorical and authentic into seven attack that can be activated to a advanced ambit of areas including architectural spaces to artefact design.

  1. Equitable use
  2. Flexibility in use
  3. Simple and intuitive
  4. Perceptible information
  5. Tolerance for error
  6. Low accurate effort
  7. Size and amplitude for admission and use

Access Active Headquarters

Access Active is an alignment that started in the aboriginal 1970’s and has been committed to rehabilitation and advance of disabled peoples by the abutment of disabled peoples. This aggregation has claimed with a aggregation of disabilities and altered challenges that they encounter. In March 5, 2007 LCM Architects advance by accomplice John H. Catlin, FAIA advised admission living’s capital address in Chicago with not alone a accepted focus by as a acceptable architecture direction. This 50,000 115 West Chicago Avenue. business brand for Admission active absolutely reflects the mission of the aggregation and reinforces their ethics to empower the options attainable to differences of others. It has been awarded “the Barrier Free America Accolade from Paralyzed Veterans of America; A acceptable architecture accolade from AIA; the Trend Setter Accolade from Friends of Downtown; LEED Gold Certification; and a Silver Accolade from the Association of Licensed Architects”.

Design Solutions

“LCM architects started the eyes of accepted design, by allotment an attainable location” and because architecture approach. The architecture is no added than two blocks from the bounded train’s underground base and from the burghal bus. This abutting accord not alone encourages blooming busline but it provided for uses that may not accept alternative modes of busline and its prime breadth allows for bodies from assorted locations to be able to anatomic this affection with ease. In accession to the application of abutting proximity, the barn of the architecture has appointed spaces that acquiesce for electric cartage to be recharged for use.

As users approach, the architecture integrates two barrier bead offs seamlessly added to acquiesce for users advancing from artery akin and for wheelchair lifts to accept a “direct avenue to the capital architecture entrance”[4]. Actuality in a colder altitude of the United States, artist Catlin devised a band-aid to accord with algid sidewalks in the winter months by designing a acrimonious accurate sidewalks and able-bodied lit approaches. All of these appearance advance anon into the admission of the architecture that is afar by two sets of sliding doors that attainable anon off the sidewalk. These doors accept a advanced aperture of sixty inches to acquiesce for attainable advancement or two wheelchairs in passing.

Once you admission in to architecture for admission living, its able-bodied advised autogenous antechamber amplitude and appliance alternative leaves you no clue that this amplitude is universally designed. LCM architects and there aggregation of designers took abutting application into their autogenous choices actuality censor of spacing, materials, colors and configurations so this absolutely was a universally accepting space. “Universal architecture has a abutting accord to animal agency and ergonomics. As a action they both attack to accede the abilities and limitations of users aback developing a artefact or architecture an environment.[5]” All of the appliance came from the Steelcase, so a baddest allotment could be bifold in several forms to accommodate with arms/without, adjustable or basal systems that encouraged change as necessary. Application a distinct artist band accustomed for a advanced ambit of basement choices to apprehend and breeze seamlessly. Aural this agreement abounding amplitude is giving for wheelchair move adeptness and affiliation aural a claimed or abounding accumulation interaction. Assorted armchair heights are included for users of all statures and “clearance beneath some of the basement is attainable to acquiesce the user to advance up to the continuing position with their leg muscles[6]”.

A custom affection aural the antechamber is the accession desk; “Lehner credibility out that the accession breadth underscores the accepted design. “”A being abutting the accession lath in a wheelchair should accept the aforementioned adeptness to use it as a being who doesn’t accept a disability. That’s the apriorism abaft the absolute design-no one uses a aback aperture or ancillary door, and no one uses a ramp. Everybody comes in the aforementioned aperture and uses the aforementioned elevators””[8]. Altered to best accession desk, the primary ambit is at a caster chaired attainable “counter acme of (29-30” AFF)”[9]. Based on the guided admission to the lath knee and toe amplitude is anxiously advised and accommodate for. The accession lath does additionally accommodate a baby allocation at the accepted acme of 42. Much application was giving to the accession ancillary of the lath because this would be the primary and abounding time user of the millwork. The lath maintains the adverse acme and electrical outlets are placed at the ends of the adverse against to beyond to abbreviate the charge for users to ache to adeptness beyond adverse span. The agent additionally is provided with a actual attainable admission to their assignment base and a axis ambit within, acceptance for a 360 amount wheelchair axis radius.

Beyond the accession desk, able inclusions of accepted attack are activated to abetment with user move adeptness throughout. Two elevators with bifold access credibility acquiesce users to move apprenticed in and out afterwards the charge of axis aural a baby bedfast space. The elevators are additionally abounding abundant to abutment four wheelchairs within. Along with the access of advancement aural the elevator Artist Catilin congenital accompaniment of the art emergency use technology for the deafened and arch of audition and enlarge elevator buttons placed at a accepted attainable height. Each of the floors of the Admission Active Company, are blush coded so users can calmly analyze belt and direction. This blush coding action is a admirable apparatus to abetment the adolescent adolescent to aged and bodies with all timers. This would additionally annihilate the frustrations of accepting off the elevator on the amiss floor, like so abounding of us accept done. Once on a attic users, will apprehension abounding attic amplitude as to not to feel accountable by abutting appliance configurations and for wheelchair passing.

The aerial cartage and areas of departure are ingeniously deigned with a attic apprenticed that curve the walls so the visually broken can calmly advance this apparatus to action through the floors. To a user with no afterimage impairments this artlessly appears as an aesthetical affection because of how able-bodied it chip throughout. This affection is a prime archetype of how accepted architecture attack do not highlighting the differences of users.


In designing the Admission Active headquarter LCM Architects, incurred abounding obstacles in creating a amplitude that was not alone universal, acceptable but additionally aesthetically and functionally useable. With their primary focus on creating a accepted amplitude they apprenticed abstruse that “what works for one affliction doesn’t consistently assignment for another,[10]” Lehner says. As a accepted artist you charge apprentice to antithesis the affiliation of apartment so they are not affected by a accurate user. “That’s boilerplate added credible than in the flooring. LCM apparent through analysis that carpeting, adverse to accepted belief, serves bodies with MCS by accoutrement contaminants that would contrarily abide airborne. It additionally offers absorption for bodies application canes. “But carpeting can be difficult to accommodate with a wheelchair,” says Catlin[11]” This is a abundant assignment to be abstruse because aback bodies anticipate a affliction they too generally alone anticipate of wheelchair users. Afterwards selecting a bolt that artist Catlin anticipation would be absolute for all of the users in the amplitude he apprenticed had to acknowledgment to the cartoon lath afterwards one agent had an epileptic access from the acute apery of the flooring. This is one archetype of the abounding difficulties faced in this activity in designing for the masses, but Catlin remedies this botheration by installing a added aerial arrangement through the architecture while still “ensuring there was still abundant adverse on alley borders to advice adviser bodies with beheld impairments[12]”.


Although they are a allocation of users there are caster armchair apprenticed we charge accede and be acquainted that there are endless impairments that account all users to accept altered needs and means in which they advance a space. Designing a accepted amplitude you charge accept an compassionate of that and bethink that you are not designing for categorical user but in about-face anybody becomes your user. It is generally actual difficult to actualize and architecture a applicable band-aid that all bodies will account user friendly, which is why architects and designers assume to beef abroad from this principle. Catlin illustrates that not alone can architecture be an aesthetically adorable accepted amplitude but blooming assumption can additionally be an activated in a ablaze way.

Works Cited

  • Access Living. Ed. Geekpak. Acess Living, 2008. Web. 14 Oct. 2009.
  • Boniface, Russell. “Paralyzed Veterans of America Honors Chicago-based Admission Active for Attainable Design.” The News of American’s Community of Architects. AIArchitect, 17 Aug. 2007. Web. 20 Oct. 2009. <>.
  • Dong, Hua. Shifting Paradigms in Accepted Design. Vol. 4554/2007. Heidelberg: Springer, 2007. Print.
  • Goldsmith, Selwyn. Accepted Design. Maine: Architectural, 2001. Print.
  • Meyers, Tiffany. “UNIVERSAL DESIGN IN ACCESS LIVING HQ.” Metropolis Magazine Oct. 2007. Metropolis Magazine, Sept. 09. Web. 23 Oct. 2009. <>.
  • Tandem, Byan, ed. “Home Design: Compassionate Accepted Design.” AARP (2008). AARP. Web. 22 Oct. 2009. <>.
  1. Goldsmith, Selwyn. Accepted Design. Maine: Architectural, 2001. Print.
  2. Goldsmith
  3. Access Living. Ed. Geekpak. Admission Living, 2008. Web. 14 Oct. 2009.
  4. Access Living
  5. Dong, Hua. Shifting Paradigms in Accepted Design. Vol. 4554/2007. Heidelberg: Springer, 2007. Print.
  6. Access Living
  7. Access Living
  8. Boniface, Russell. “Paralyzed Veterans of America Honors Chicago-based Admission Active for Attainable Design.” The News of American’s Community of Architects. AIArchitect, 17 Aug. 2007. Web. 20 Oct. 2009. <>.
  9. Access Living
  10. Meyers, Tiffany. “UNIVERSAL DESIGN IN ACCESS LIVING HQ.” Metropolis Magazine Oct. 2007. Metropolis Magazine, Sept. 09. Web. 23 Oct. 2009. <>.
  11. Meyers
  12. Meyers

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