What are the 7 Principles of Universal Design?

In 1997, a team of architects designers
and researchers at North Carolina State University created a list of principles
that would be used to define universal design. Today we’re visiting Berkeley
California’s universally designed Ed Roberts Campus to explain what the
researchers called The Seven Principles of Universal Design. This is Power On. A building that is universally designed is a building that’s designed for people with
all kinds of abilities, that’s the general idea of a universally-designed building.
Now, for a lot of people who live in cities the only way to get around is via
public transportation. So we’re going to jump on BART which is the public transportation system around the San Francisco Bay Area and see where it
takes us. So we’ve made it to the Ashby Station and connected to the station is the building that houses the Ed Roberts Campus. All we do is go in this elevator
we go up one story, and it opens right into the lobby. This is Ed Roberts Campus, an 85,000
square foot building that houses disability-focused organizations. Named
after disability rights pioneer and former executive director at the CIL, Ed
Roberts campus has won numerous awards for its accessible design Designers often tack on a ramp as an afterthought, but the team at LMS Architecture started
with accessibility and turned the ramp into the building’s centerpiece On the wall behind the ramp, a gallery of photos show Berkeley’s deep history in the disability rights movement. The second principle of universal design
is flexibility in use, meaning that a building can be configured in various ways to accommodate a person’s needs. In some of the offices, you might find
adjustable desks which can be used at any height depending on each person’s
preference. This means that the design
is easy to understand for everybody. So, as soon as you walk in the door it makes sense where to go, whether to the front desk or elsewhere via practical easy-to-understand signage. if you’ve ever used an IKEA instruction manual, it’s a bit of an exercise in universal design. Very easy to follow, yet not a single written
word. A nd speaking of signage, the fourth principle is Perceptible Information. This means that the design can communicate all of its necessary information to everybody. An example of that are the signs here at the Ed Roberts Campus. All the signs throughout the campus are both in written word as well as Braille. The fountain at the end of the building isn’t just for decoration. It also provides a reference point for people with low vision when getting around the building. This principle refers to safety, stressing the importance that the design
minimizes hazards, accidents, or unintended action. In the event of an emergency, the ramp provides a safe exit if the elevators aren’t in use. This says that the design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with minimum fatigue. A building that is universally designed
shouldn’t be exhausting to get around or to use. In architecture, that comes in the form of automatic doors, elevators, and mostly flat surfaces. This principle says that the building shouldn’t restrict anyone by its size or space. So that, of course, means wide doorways and adequate space for wheelchairs to navigate but it’s also important that nothing is out of reach for people who need access to something. When we came up the elevators, there were buttons where you would normally find them, but also buttons along the floor if that’s more accessible, and you can find this feature all throughout the building. If you’re interested in
visiting the Ed Roberts Campus, mark your calendars for April 27th and join us
right here for the annual Momentum Expo showcasing the very best in
transportation and mobility resources. Welcome back to this live-streaming
edition of Power On. Register before the event by visiting MomentumExpo.org. Don’t forget to subscribe, give us a thumbs up, and we’ll see you on the next Power On.

One comment

  • TheCIL

    Thanks for tuning in! This episode is a slight deviation from our normal product reviews, but this is essential information for architects and designers. If there's a topic you'd like us to cover, comment below!


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