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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Universally Speaking

The buzz is getting louder and louder, folks…universal design is a hot new trend. But, what exactly does it mean and how can I incorporate this new philosophy of design in my home and lifestyle?

Here is the skinny:
Universal Design is a broad-based belief and practice that encourages producing environments (including structures, buildings, and products) that are user-friendly, safe and effective for everyone. Contrary to popular thought, universal design is not only exorcised for people with disabilities, it is supported and can be used by everyone. Everything from eating utensils to sidewalks incorporates universal design.

The principles:
A group of colleagues at North Carolina State University developed the key principles of Universal Design to direct the application of fundamentals in the areas of environments, products and communications.
1. Equitable use
2. Flexibility in use
3. Simple and intuitive
4. Perceptible information
5. Tolerance for error
6. Low physical effort
7. Size and space for approach and use

(from the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University)

Understanding the key principles of universal design makes the application a whole lot easier. I think some of the magic ingredients are consideration, thoughtfulness, and courtesy. Next time you consider buying new home products or renovating your home, keep in mind the highest and best use for your spending and how most individuals will be able to use and enjoy them.

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posted by Custom Blogs @ 11:56 AM 




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