Who Needs Universal Design?

Who needs Universal Design?  What is it, anyway?  

First, let’s tackle what it is.  Universal Design is design that is functional for everyone – from young to old and from disabled to fully functional.  It is often equated to design for Aging in Place.  While Universal Design is one way to address Aging in Place, it encompasses so much more and extends to a wider audience.   In fact, architect Ronald L. Mace coined the term Universal Design to describe the concept of designing all products and the built environment to serve the needs of everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.  The RL Mace Universal Design Institute, founded in 1997, promotes seven principles of Universal Design.  They include: equitable use, flexibility, simple and intuitive, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical effort and size and space for approach and use.  

Incorporating Universal Design into your home addition or remodeling plans is not only efficient, it’s smart.  It makes your home appealing and flexible for a wider range of people.  It makes your home more livable for you as you age.  It simply makes sense.  

Next week, look for more on specific Universal Design features and how you can incorporate them into your home remodeling efforts.