What Is Universal Design?

Once you understand the meaning of the term Universal Design, it might surprise you that it wasn't invented sooner. The term Universal Design originates from an architect named Ronald Mace. He invented the term just a few decades ago in 1985. 

While most people have not been aware of it, the world has slowly been integrating more and more of the principles of Universal Design. So what is this principle and what can it mean to you?

Read on to learn about what is Universal Design and more!

What Is Universal Design? 

There is no exact Universal Design definition. However, the basic idea is that many objects are designed to be used for the average person. These objects do not necessarily fit with the needs of people who are not average.

Universal Design architecture and design is an attempt to create things that suit the needs of everybody! For example, a building with both stairs and a ramp has a more Universal Design. The inclusion of a ramp allows people who use wheelchairs to access the building along with those who use stairs.

Another example might include audio recordings that read out the content of written instructions or descriptions. Suppose a museum has a description accompanying every item in the museum.

With the addition of a button that reads out the content of the description, blind people will be able to receive the same information as those who can read.

Subtler Applications of Universal Design 

There are also aspects of Universal Design that can help almost everybody. For example, a television that includes captions along with the audio. Not only do these captions allow deaf people to understand what is happening on the television, but they also allow people to watch television even in noisy environments. 

Additionally, Universal Design can exist in behavioral patterns. For example, a school might instruct teachers to be tolerant of mistakes. In this case, the Universal Design does not exist in any concrete object. 

Sometimes, Universal Design is about choosing which piece of technology to use, rather than inventing a new one. For example, in Universal Home Design, side by side refrigerators and freezers are recommended. They allow people of all abilities to access their content more easily. 

On top of that, universal homes might include tables and countertops with adjustable heights. The same basic idea can be used to include closet rods with adjustable heights.

These kinds of adjustments often cost little or no extra money. They are simply a way to increase the accessibility and functionality of everyday home objects.

Appreciate the Power of Universal Design Principles

We hope that you were able to learn something helpful about exactly what is Universal Design in this brief article. This is an important design principle that makes the world more accommodating for everyone.

To learn more about solutions for people with disabilities, you can get in touch with us here. 

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