Universal Design Revisited A Methodological Extension for Sustainability

Submitted by pgrafton on Thu, 08/30/2018 - 15:08
Moyen Mohammad Mustaquim
Uppsala Universitet
Year Published
ISBN Number
Around 1960, it was difficult for people with disabilities to enter official buildings, visit public toilets or even opening the packages of alimentary products. It was seen as an unfortunate but unavoidable situation. The architect Ron Mace started a revolution in that he founded the movement of universal design, a design philosophy regarding everyone’s access regardless of age or disabilities. As a result of this, for example, today we see ramps on almost every official building. In today’s world however, a pressing problem is environmental, economic and social sustainability. This thesis investigates how universal design can be updated and extended to be more adapted to the sustainability problems we face today. This thesis includes six empirical and theoretical studies. One empirical study that was made in an elderly home where patients with disabilities spend their everyday life showed that the universal design principles need to be extended by taking into account social factors and learning. Another empirical study in the context of video game play showed that not all design principles were understood meaningfully during game play indicating that the purpose of a design might not always be served by following the current universal design principles. To find a way of expanding universal design for sustainability, a theoretical analysis identified five steps for conducting interdisciplinary research as useful. A new framework was then developed to show how the new universal design concept could help achieve sustainability in system design. This framework was then tested using two use cases where the result showed that the new extended concept of universal design can be a trigger for sustainability. Finally, a cognitive dissonance model with five identified design principles showed how this new extension could be practiced to address practical problems like persuasive design for sustainability followed by a system development life cycle showing what needs to be done to perform such extension. In conclusion, this thesis has shown that by introducing a contextual interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of the problem domain, UD can be extended to achieve sustainability.

Universal Design Revisited: A Methodological Extension for Sustainability | Request PDF. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299285708_Universal_Design_Revisited_A_Methodological_Extension_for_Sustainability [accessed Aug 30 2018].