This evening started off with a intriguing presentation about the significance of applied universal design. An advocate for infusing design improvements for those with disabilities, Denise Arnold presented ample findings on performance vs perscription based codes and more than a handful of universal principles. Those principles include but are not limited to the following:

7 Principles of Universal Design
1. Equitable Use
2. Flexibility In Use
3. Simple & Intuitive Use
4. Perceptible Information
5. Tolerance of Error
6. Low Physical Effort
7. Size & Space for Approach and Use

Sharing her knowledge of regulation and standards for designing, exposed a different dimension of scrutiny for builders, architects and designers alike. Revealing real world experiences, concerns and frustrations highlighted opportunities for improvement amungst practices enforced by cities. A plentiful presentation with notable bits of insight and key elements to merge into anyone designers approach,

1. Be empathic – Don’t try designing for yourself. Use the empathy of the user to influence your research and work. Your best results will come from creating with the user as a guide of influence while referencing their needs.

2. Drop the Code – There are codes and laws of regulation that a designer must follow in order to be approved for permits and license. Avoid letting code standards design for you. In order to be a great designer, restrict yourself from allowing the guidelines shape your design. Use it as a catalyst for it.

3. Be Flexible to Adaptability – Look for opportunities to incorporate these principles in all of your design projects. This practice and exposure will inherently become a natural part of your workflow.
Until Then,

Design with LIFE in Mind…


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