1. ArchDaily
  2. Accessibility

Accessibility: The Latest Architecture and News

What is Universal Design?

Created by the American architect Ron Mace in the 1980s, the concept of Universal Design deals with the perception of the projects and environments that we design and inhabit, considering the possibility of its use by different user profiles: from children to the elderly, including language limitations and people with disability or temporary limitations.

What is Universal Design? - Imagen 1 de 4What is Universal Design? - Imagen 2 de 4What is Universal Design? - Imagen 3 de 4What is Universal Design? - Imagen 4 de 4What is Universal Design? - More Images

Disabling Form

Discussions of architectural form demonstrate how disability is negatively imprinted into the field of architecture. In architectural theory and the history of architecture, “form” typically refers to the physical essence and shape of a work of architecture. In the modern idea of form, it is a quality that arises from the activity of design and in ways that can be transmitted into the perceptions of a beholder of architecture. Form provides a link between an architect’s physical creations and the aesthetic reception of these works. It occupies a central place within a general understanding of architecture: the idea of the architect as “form-giver,” among many other turns of phrase, conveys the sense of some fundamental activity and aesthetic role of form within architecture, what architects create, and how people perceive works of architecture.

Accessible Architecture: Democratizing Design and Information

Earlier this year, I witnessed an intriguing situation. I followed, via an architect friend, the negotiation for the contracting of an architectural project for a single family home. The land owner, a public school teacher, sought professional help to build her dream home, estimated at about 60 square meters. It was a challenging terrain, with specific cutouts and a very steep topography that was compensated by the view of the city. The limited budget and the owner's history indicated that this would be the seaside version of the famous Vila Matilde House by Terra e Tuma.

School for Blind and Visually Impaired Children / SEAlab

School for Blind and Visually Impaired Children / SEAlab - Exterior Photography, Schools School for Blind and Visually Impaired Children / SEAlab - Exterior Photography, Schools , FacadeSchool for Blind and Visually Impaired Children / SEAlab - Interior Photography, Schools School for Blind and Visually Impaired Children / SEAlab - Exterior Photography, Schools , Garden, FacadeSchool for Blind and Visually Impaired Children / SEAlab - More Images+ 44

Gandhinagar, India
  • Architects: SEAlab
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area :  750
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year :  2021

Where Did All of the Public Benches Go?

The design and functionality of public spaces in cities are always under scrutiny. Whether its accessibility to public parks and green spaces, the distance people live from public transportation, or the ways that spaces can be designed to make city life more safe and equitable. But now a new issue and one that lives at a smaller scale is starting to arise- where did all of the public seats go?

Where Did All of the Public Benches Go? - Image 1 of 4Where Did All of the Public Benches Go? - Image 2 of 4Where Did All of the Public Benches Go? - Image 3 of 4Where Did All of the Public Benches Go? - Image 4 of 4Where Did All of the Public Benches Go? - More Images+ 1

Disabled Are the Cities, Not Their Citizens

Cities with disabilities are those that present spaces and environments that impede or make it difficult for citizens to access, participate and interact, regardless of any loss or abnormality related to their psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function. I invite readers to, with me, change the focus of the approach on disabilities, transferring to cities and built environments the inability to meet in a dignified and effective way the diversity of abilities and capacities inherent to human beings.

Architecture for People with Hearing Loss: 6 Design Tips

Contrary to what we might believe, hearing loss is not always congenital, but could sooner or later happen to any of us. According to the WHO, almost a third of people over 65 suffer from debilitating hearing loss. Yet from a certain perspective, hearing loss could be considered more of a 'difference' than a 'disability'. Although the spatial demands of people with hearing disabilities are not as noticeable as spaces for the blind or for those who experience reduced mobility, the reduction of hearing capacity does entail a particular way of experiencing the environment. Is it possible to enhance this experience through interior design?

Architecture for People with Hearing Loss: 6 Design Tips - Image 1 of 4Architecture for People with Hearing Loss: 6 Design Tips - Image 2 of 4Architecture for People with Hearing Loss: 6 Design Tips - Image 3 of 4Architecture for People with Hearing Loss: 6 Design Tips - Image 4 of 4Architecture for People with Hearing Loss: 6 Design Tips - More Images+ 2

Architecture and Technology Can Promote Greater Autonomy for People with Disabilities

Architecture and Technology Can Promote Greater Autonomy for People with Disabilities - Featured Image
Cortesia de ABB

A corridor that is too narrow, a poorly located switch or a simple unevenness can go completely unnoticed to many, but they can also be insurmountable barriers for someone with a disability. We all have a family member or acquaintance with mobility difficulties and, possibly, we might also experience them at some point in our lives. Architecture has the power to create truly inclusive spaces so that people with disabilities can have the autonomy to perform all necessary daily tasks, without needing the help of others. Integrated into architecture, technology can play an important role in this context, making the spaces in which we live even more accessible to everyone.

Why We Should Integrate Tactile Surfaces into Architecture

Why We Should Integrate Tactile Surfaces into Architecture - Image 1 of 4Why We Should Integrate Tactile Surfaces into Architecture - Image 2 of 4Why We Should Integrate Tactile Surfaces into Architecture - Image 3 of 4Why We Should Integrate Tactile Surfaces into Architecture - Image 4 of 4Why We Should Integrate Tactile Surfaces into Architecture - More Images+ 12

Accessibility is one of the most important considerations in architecture, ensuring that the built environment caters to people of all abilities. However, popular conceptions of what disability and accessibility look like remain limited, and often encompass only physically disabled people such as wheelchair users. Among architectural designers especially, it is common to visualize accessibility as adding ramps, wide corridors, and elevators. However, disability can take many different forms, some less visible than others; accordingly, accessibility in architecture means much more than accommodating just wheelchair users. For the visually impaired, incorporating specific tactile elements in architecture and urban design can vastly improve the navigability of a foreign space. In this article, we talk about tactile paving specifically, including its different forms, its history, and its means of implementation.

Systematica Releases First Assessment on Milan Public Realm, Green Areas and Gathering Places

Systematica has just released a case study on access to green areas and the public realm in the city of Milan. Focusing on the availability of these gathering spaces for residents, the research, particularly relevant in this time of the pandemic, also highlights open and not crowded public spaces, convenient for a safe social life.

New Rules for London's Skyscrapers Favor Pedestrians

With a very bold and pioneering move, the UK for the first time is prioritizing cyclists and pedestrians. The city is making pressures on skyscrapers by issuing new rules on the design of the high-rises in order to prevent the creation of wind tunnels.

We Need More Wheelchair Users to Become Architects

When famed architect Michael Graves contracted a mysterious virus in 2003, a new chapter in his life began. Paralyzed from the chest down, the pioneer of Postmodernism would be permanently required to use a wheelchair. Graves could have been forgiven for believing that having fought for his life, having been treated in eight hospitals and four rehab clinics, and needing permanent use of a wheelchair, that his most influential days as an architect were behind him. This was not the case. To the contrary, he would use this new circumstance to design trend-setting hospitals, rehab centers, and other typologies right up to his death in 2015, all with a new-found awareness of the everyday realities of those in wheelchairs, and what architects were, and were not doing, to aid their quality of life.