Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments

The field of universal design (UD) encompasses a range of topics, whether it’s at the level of urban planning, the design of a building or space within a building, or an object within that space. One review describes the book Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments as follows: “introduces designers to the principles and practice of designing for all people.”

The book is divided into three parts. The first establishes a foundation and rationale for the universal design paradigm, the second provides a summary of universal design practices and the third provides summaries of practices across a wide range of topics including public accommodations, housing, home modifications, interior design, product design and transportation.

The book begins with one chapter on barriers and their social meaning and another to define UD and explain its meaning with respect to different styles and the concept of human-centred design.

Further chapters explore human needs in great detail, from human performance to different aspects of health and wellness and how they impact on design, and to designing for social participation. The book finishes with an exploration of product design and public transportation.

The authors go into great detail on each for these topics. For example, the discussion on interior design goes into great depth on topics such as wayfinding, acoustics, lighting, colour, furnishings and floor coverings.

The authors and contributors to the book are all colleagues at the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center), a leading centre for research and development in universal design in North America.

To find out more about this book or to order it online, click here.