Tag Archives: architect

Edward Steinfeld


Director, Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA)
Co-Director, RERC on Universal Design in the Built Environment (RERC-UD)
Co-Director, RERC on Accessible Public Transportation (RERC APT)
Distinguished Professor of Architecture, University at Buffalo (UB)
Board of Directors, Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC)

Edward Steinfeld, ArchD, AIA is a registered architect and gerontologist with special interests in universal design, accessibility, and design for the lifespan. At The State University of New York at Buffalo (UB), he is a Professor of Architecture and Director of the IDeA Center. Dr. Steinfeld has directed over 30 sponsored research projects, including co-directing the RERC on Universal Design and the Built Environment and the RERC on Accessible Public Transportation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Universal Design Commission, Inc. He has over 100 publications and 3 patents. Many of his publications are considered key references in the fields of accessible and universal design; he was a co-author of the seven Principles of Universal Design and the primary author of Universal Design: Creating an Inclusive Environment. He is internationally known for his research and has travelled widely to lecture in many countries.

In 2003 he received a Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and has also received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA), and Progressive Architecture. He received a Ron Mace, Designing for the 21st Century Award and in 2010 he was awarded the University at Buffalo’s second annual Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence. In 2012 he was awarded the rank of Distinguished SUNY Professor, the highest rank for faculty in the SUNY system. He is a frequent consultant to federal and state agencies, building owners and attorneys, and has designed several buildings that are home to many people with severe disabilities.

His current work includes projects on anthropometry of disability, development of universal design standards, design of a new demonstration bus and development of new wayfinding systems for buildings. Dr. Steinfeld is a member of RESNA, HFES, and the AIA.

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John P.S. Salmen


President of Universal Designers & Consultants, Inc. (UD&C)

John P. S. Salmen, AIA is a licensed architect who has specialized in barrier free, accessible and Universal Design for more than 35 years. He is president of Universal Designers & Consultants Inc., an accessibility consulting firm he founded in 1991 that specializes in the field of designing environments to be usable by people of all ages and abilities, to the greatest extent possible.

Salmen is one of the leading experts in the technical aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and an international leader in the field of Universal Design. Salmen has authored several books including: Accessible Architecture, The Do-Able Renewable Home,Accommodating All Guests and Everyone’s Welcome, has co-authored Universal Design Tips-Lessons Learned from Two UD Homes and published the internationally acclaimed newsletterUniversal Design Newsletter from 1992 to 2013. He has presented hundreds of Universal Design and accessibility seminars, as well as keynote addresses throughout North America and the Pacific Rim.

Salmen has been a voting member of the International Code Council/American National Standards Institute (ICC/ANSI) A117 Committee for more than 20 years and he serves on the Editorial and Scoping sub-committees for the A117.1 Standards for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities. The firm represented the American Institute of Architects on the ADAAG Review Federal Advisory Committee and Salmen was a voting delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. He has served for many years as an appointed member of the Montgomery County Commission on People with Disabilities (MD).

Having earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota, he is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). In addition, he is licensed to practice architecture in the State of Maryland. In his capacities as Technical Director of the National Center for a Barrier Free Environment in Washington, DC and his tenure as Director of Technology & Information for the American Hotel & Motel Association, Salmen has been involved in all aspects of design for people with disabilities and older adults. Today, Salmen devotes his time to code development, facility evaluation, design, construction, accessibility litigation, writing, research and teaching. See more at Universal Designers & Consultants’s Website

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The Coming Decade for Residential Design


In the AIA’s Home Design Trends Survey, leading residential architecture firms provided their vision for the next 10 years in terms of home layout; features, systems, and products; neighborhood and community design; and kitchens and baths. The key trends that they identified are the growing popularity of universal design; increased attention to a healthy living environment; infill development and its focus on improved design; and the growing popularity of kitchens as the focus of household activities.

Lee Swinscoe


Consulting Manager at Universal Designers & Consultants, Inc. (UD&C)

ADA/FHA Accessibility Specialist Lee Swinscoe began working with UD&C in 2004 and became a fulltime team member in 2006. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture Degree from the University of Maryland. He received his certification in the Certified Access Specialist program (CASp) in 2010 and became a founding member of the Certified Access Specialist Institute (CASI) in the same year.

During his tenure with the company, Swinscoe has worked on a variety of projects, including those in the lodging, retail, food and housing arenas. As consulting manager, Swinscoe is responsible for discussing projects with clients, providing client proposals, coordinating survey schedules, logistics and training new employees. He is also responsible for conducting property surveys, reviewing plans and drafting/editing reports. Swinscoe also assists in the development of instructional material and training sessions for various projects and clients. See more at the UD&C’s Website.

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Karen Braitmayer


Owner, Karen Braitmayer, FAIA
Appointee, U.S. Access Board

Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA, offers the unusual combination of personal experience as a lifelong wheelchair user with her professional expertise as a registered Architect. She has made accessibility consulting and design services her focus since 1990 and co-founded Studio Pacifica, Ltd. in 1993. In 2012, Studio Pacifica became Karen Braitmayer, FAIA.

Ms. Braitmayer has worked with civic and private organizations committed to complying with federal laws and state codes while creating spaces that work optimally for the widest variation of individual users. She has served on numerous boards and committees, supporting inclusion or representing people with disabilities and has won awards for her contributions.

Ms. Braitmayer continues to be a resource for federal, state and local government officials, architects and disability rights advocates in her region and across the country. Since 1989 she has participated in the development of codes and standards to ensure that the State Accessibility Code reflects the needs of the citizens of Washington. She was an appointed member of the Washington State Building Code Council, representing persons with disabilities, from 1994 through 2001.

In September of 2010, President Obama appointed Ms. Braitmayer to the U. S. Access Board, an independent Federal agency that provides leadership in accessible design under the ADA and other laws.

She has provided consulting on numerous community development projects, including community stadiums, museums, library, light rail development plans and improvement to our local airport. She has also been retained as an expert witness in cases involving compliance with federal regulations. She is a frequent and enthusiastic speaker to other professionals and the general public on the topics of accessibility, universal design and the art of turning your differences into your strengths.

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Harold Dean Kiewel


Registered architect and certified construction specifier (CCS)

Harold Dean Kiewel, AIA, CSI, CCS | Since 1998, he was worked with Ellerbe Becket, an international firm based in Minneapolis, as a senior architectural specifier, spending much of his time writing project manuals for health care facilities. Harold continues his advocacy to the architectural community through his presentations and volunteer work, and also by educating the Ellerbe Beckett staff about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In 1993, before he joined Ellerbe Becket, Harold founded his own company, Accessible Building Consultants, to provide independent accessibility consulting. His focus was the practice of architecture as an instrument of change in society, and his goal was to help clients and architects understand the real meaning of the ADA. Harold’s solid personal and professional grounding in accessibility issues, combined with his architectural training, made him a valuable resource in the years following the passage of the ADA. He led seminars at regional and national meetings of the AIA, the Construction Specifier’s Institute, and the International Facilities Managers Association and served on numerous committees and task forces of architectural and disability organizations. During that time, Harold was also affiliated with Universal Designers and Consultants, a Maryland-based national consulting firm specializing in ADA compliance.

Harold was born in South Dakota, but following his bout with polio, his family moved to Minneapolis to be near the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. There, Harold received treatment for post-polio paralysis and learned to walk using leg braces and crutches. His father was a farmer and a carpenter; Harold worked with him on the farm and was active in 4-H. One early influence in Harold’s choice of career was seeing the blueprints for construction projects on which his father worked.

A high school civics and social studies teacher who was an architect encouraged Harold’s initial interest in a career in design. Today, Harold reflects somewhat wryly on the fact that this man taught high school for a living. “I might have missed a clue there about the vicissitudes of this profession.”

Harold was mainstreamed in public school and graduated sixth out of one hundred students in his class. Although he felt encouraged to follow his interests, he also got the message that a “more passive career” would suit him best. Oddly, architecture was among the careers considered more passive. “I guess my counselors didn’t know much about site visits or site work.”

The state vocational rehabilitation program provided tuition and housing for Harold’s first undergraduate degree, which he received in 1973 from the University of Minnesota. Harold studied architecture initially, but towards the end of his sophomore year he was strongly dissuaded from continuing on this path. A design studio professor suggested that if he changed his major he’d do all right, but if he continued with architecture, he would flunk out. Harold has always suspected that this incident reflected the professor’s strong negative feelings about disability in general and had little to do with him or his design skills. Unfortunately, as a result, Harold dropped architecture and explored several other majors before settling on one just for the purpose of graduating.

Immediately after graduation, he worked in retail. The happiest parts of these years were meeting Patricia, falling in love, and getting married. But he felt unfulfilled in his work. “It was as if I heard a bell ringing. I thought about my drawing board and knew that’s where I wanted to be.” Vocational Rehabilitation wouldn’t fund a graduate degree, but they would fund vocational training. So Harold enrolled at the Minnesota Drafting School to get the skills he needed for an entry-level architectural position.

Harold’s first job in his career of choice was with the City of Minneapolis as an access consultant, in 1975. He helped educate building owners about the state’s new accessibility code and then moved on to the State Council on Disabilities, where he provided the same sorts of education on a statewide basis. Out of this work came the book Accessible Architecture, co-authored with John Salmen in 1976. Toward the end of the decade, Harold transferred to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, where he gave technical assistance to a program that offered funding and design assistance to families with special needs.

Still determined to be an architect, Harold went back to the University of Minnesota, taking courses at night part-time until he earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design. Then, in 1982, with the support of his wife and family, he decided to leave his state job to pursue a Master of Architecture degree at the university. His thesis, User Sensitivity in Architecture, offers a methodology for understanding accessibility as a qualitative design issue, rather than as a quantitative building code issue. See more at HumanCenteredDesign.org