Expanding the frontiers of universal design


Interior designers take accessibility beyond building code requirements |

Universal design encompasses much more than physical accessibility. It means creating spaces that are meaningful to their diverse users, it means going beyond building code requirements, and it means including an operational component in accommodation.

These were some of the messages from The Changing Face of Accessible Design, a panel discussion amongst Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) members at IFMA Toronto’s recent fmEducation Day.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.