Public Buildings

St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim

How Inclusive design is a key driver to society

Universal Design, Inclusive Design, Design for All. We hear these terms almost every day, but where do they come from, what do they actually mean, and how do they apply ...
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A woman reads on a rooftop garden in a residential area of Tokyo.

Designing a Megacity for Mental Health

A new report assesses how Tokyo’s infrastructure affects residents’ emotional well-being, offering lessons for other cities ...
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students working in inclusive design studio

Inclusive Design Studio: The Children’s Museum

The University at Buffalo, School of Architecture and Design inclusive design studio takes on the topic of the Children’s Museum at Buffalo’s Canalside as a way of investigating spaces where ...
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Berkeley Public Library

Improve your community through the power of design

Have you ever wondered why abandoned or dilapidated buildings lie vacant for years on end, why traffic patterns isolate people from businesses, or why there are so few safe and ...
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University Medical Center New Orleans

Good hospital design can improve quality of care

Few experiences are more difficult than enduring a hospital stay. But unlike in years past, patients can now educate themselves on both healthcare providers and facilities, much like for many ...
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aerial view of street

Science Is Proving Why Urban Design Matters More Than Ever

Benches and greenery may seem inconsequential, but a new study quantifies how deeply they impact the civic life of a city ...
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Blog: How good design can support inclusion of autistic children in mainstream schools

Children with autism have a range of particular needs when it comes to the ideal learning environment, and these are unlikely to be provided for by standard classroom design. The ...
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ramp at ed roberts campus

How Wheelchair Accessibility Ramped Up

Ramps evolved from a Greek tool for dragging ships to the front lines of disability activism. An Object Lesson ...
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drawing of barriers in the environment

Restaurants Haven’t Lived Up to the Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Disabled diners on the issues they most commonly face — and how to fix them ...
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london neighborhood scene

How design can help inclusive growth

This week the Inclusive Growth Commission published their final findings and recommendation after an independent enquiry into how the UK can achieve inclusive growth ...
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Accessibility advocate Rick Hansen

‘Man in Motion’ Rick Hansen says more incentives needed to design accessible buildings

Canada's Man in Motion Rick Hansen says creating a program for celebrating and certifying accessible buildings — patterned on one that certifies buildings for environmental design — could encourage building designers to create more inclusive spaces ...
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Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center; Anaheim, CA

These Hospitals Are Designed To Help You Heal Faster

The winners of the National Healthcare Design Awards show how where you get your health care can have a big effect on the outcomes ...
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elderly woman walking using a walker with younger man walking along side her

Designing for Alzheimer’s using the Goals of Universal Design

Designing meaningful environments that help people thrive is a primary objective of Universal Design.  There is a growing body of evidence-based design research that demonstrates the many benefits resulting from ...
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sidewalk area

Norway to showcase inclusive design at London Design Biennale

Norway’s contribution to London’s first Design Biennale in September is Reaching for Utopia – Inclusive Design in Practice, an exhibition of civic projects that make the case for inclusive design ...
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Pennington Student Achievement Center exterior view

Universal Design new standard in accessibility

University of Nevada, Reno's Pennington Student Achievement Center, have been built with universal design in mind. The classrooms have been set up in a way that allows everyone to see ...
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view of street with markings and people walking

Designing an Active, Healthier City

Despite a firm reputation for being walkers, New Yorkers have an obesity epidemic on their hands. Lee Altman, a former employee of New York City’sDepartment of Design and Construction, explains ...
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exterior view of music store


Accessibility should be a top priority to make Toronto a Music City. Absent from the city-council-approved Toronto Music Strategy is a plan to address the widespread inaccessibility of our live ...
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aerial view of The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

United Nations teams up with MIT to overhaul “very top-down” refugee design strategy

UNHCR has teamed up with D-Lab, a unit at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that develops user-centred design strategies, to explore ways of empowering refugee communities ...
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man in wheelchair next to moving subway train in nyc

Disability rights groups sue MTA for excluding elevator at newly renovated Bronx subway station

The MTA is rolling over the rights of disabled people by failing to make newly renovated stations wheelchair accessible, a new class action lawsuit charges. In papers filed in Manhattan ...
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city skyline

How to Build Inclusive Cities

How do we build cities in which everyone—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, age, or ability—can live and thrive? Unfortunately, no silver-bullet answers or cookie-cutter solutions exist. But there are ...
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How TD Bank HQ achieved WELL certification

Landlord-tenant partnership leads to world's first v1 certification under WELL standard An interiors project for TD Bank headquarters, located in the TD Centre in downtown Toronto, recently became the world’s ...
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unken terrace at Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island

New York City and Nonprofit Clash Over Accessibility of Roosevelt Memorial

Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park opened on Roosevelt Island four years ago, City Hall has been arguing with the nonprofit group that built and runs the park ...
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close up of woman arms signing

Creating Inclusive Environments with DeafSpace Architecture

The Deaf community live in a world designed for people who can hear, but a new design movement challenges how buildings should be built, where sensory experiences and interaction with ...
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wheelchair user symbol sitting in water

A day in the life of accessible design: the case of the invisible lift – Part 2

On reaching the automatic sliding glass doors at the North Entrance, you will find a call button for assistance if needed on the wall to the left of the doors ...
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sketch of stair components

A Lesson in Universal Design: How to Make Stairs Safer for All

One of the most dangerous stairs people encounter each day are the ones leading into the house from the garage. Often these are cheap, prebuilt MDF stairs that are narrow, ...
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people on walkway at Scioto Greenways

Design for Everybody

Whether it’s a corridor plan for two blocks in small-town USA or a blockbuster master plan worthy of a national award, planners have to design for all users of the ...
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view of subway riders ascending an escalator in new york's 34th street subway station

Universal Design

Level Playing Field: A group of recent projects demonstrates that true universal design goes beyond mere accessibility ...
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silhouette of a waiter and wheelchair user and table

An Open Letter to Restaurateurs and Restaurant Staff

I love eating out! I really do. Eating out lets me experience flavors, sights, and sounds from around the world. If the staff and restaurant have made for a good experience, ...
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colorful furniture and carpeting in a room designed for autism

How To Design For Autism

Problem: many autistic kids are super sensitive to the sight, sound, and feel of their environment. So when New York-Presbyterian decided to build an early intervention center for autistic children, ...
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students walking through school corridor

Improved access: Disabled, advocates see progress in public accommodations

People with disabilities and officials say Columbia is a good place to live for those with a disability, but challenges still exist and improvements are needed. Advances in technology, particularly ...
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A day in the life of accessible design: the case of the invisible lift – Part 1

The idealised format of modern living and design requires space, light and a lack of clutter in design and spatial planning. This ideal has evidently been at the forefront of ...
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rom rail to rail, there's 6 feet of clearance in the ramp, one of numerous universal design features incorporated into the new Mary Free Bed YMCA in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids YMCA is first building to adopt universal design standards

The University at Buffalo’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center), in collaboration with the Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC), has developed the first set of universal design ...
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people in an auditorium designed for disabilities including a wheelchair user

An auditorium specially designed for those with disabilities

Going to the movies or seeing a performance can be challenging for people with disabilities. The hard of hearing struggle to decipher speech amid background noise and reverberation, while those ...
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free school clip art public domain

Most New York City Elementary Schools Are Violating Disabilities Act, Investigation Finds

A two-year federal investigation has concluded that 83 percent of New York City’s public elementary schools are not “fully accessible” to children with disabilities, in violation of the Americans With ...
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exterior view of courtyard by marriott hotel

Hotel Centered Around Workers With Special Needs Set To Open

A first-of-its-kind, fully-functioning teaching hotel designed to provide job training and employment for people with disabilities is ready to open its doors ...
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empty hospital bed

Better by Design: Hospital architecture can help patients heal

When an architect plans a new hospital, she’s doing more than designing rooms in which doctors meet sick patients and work to make them well. She’s designing a space through ...
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people walking inside the mary free bed ymca

Mary Free Bed YMCA opens doors

West Michigan is now home to a “first-of-its-kind” YMCA. The new Mary Free Bed YMCA in Cascade Township will be the first YMCA facility in the world to receive a ...
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circular outdoor bench

Deafness, disability and design: the case of ‘Deaf Village Ireland’

I have been visiting Deaf Village Ireland regularly over the past nine months, speaking and walking through it with management, staff and users of the centre. Located in Cabra, in ...
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people exercising inside the mary free bed ymca building

Mary Free Bed YMCA the First Building in the World to have Universal Design Certification

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – September 15, 2015 –The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids has partnered with the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University and the Center for Inclusive Design ...
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stairs blending in with sloped sidewalk

Should Business Care about Universal Design?

Universal design needs to cross into mainstream design to service a growing market driven by changing demographics and a socially responsible business world looking for new opportunities. Universal design has ...
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trailer with a view cut into the body, revealing interior view

Arkansas Universal Design Mobile Display

The Arkansas Universal Design Mobile Display is a Universally Designed display bathroom built inside of a trailer. The trailer can be reserved by home shows, county fairs, professional conferences, and ...
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bathroom designed for dementia

Bathroom design with dementia in mind

Dr. Birgit Dietz explains the background thoughts in the development of the age and dementia-sensitive washbasin, which she designed together with HEWI. She is a visiting lecturer in the Hospital ...
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3d model of healthcare facility

Mayo Clinic to Study the Health Effects of the Built Environment

Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors—from homes to office or work environments, schools, retail stores, fitness centers, health care facilities, and more—which means exposure to indoor ...
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person walking in a hallway with others siting the background
Recreation: A younger gentleman walking with an older man in the park
Public Buildings: aerial view of city buildings
Streets: people crossing an intersection
Housing: exterior view of a suburban house
Transportation: close up of dangling handles on a bus