Universal Design and Accessibility
Barcelona, A City for All
Universal design comes from the idea that a designed space should be usable to everyone regardless of age, mobility and/or situation. Universal design recognizes that there is a wide spectrum of human abilities and that even the most able-bodied person, passes through challenges, or periods in their life that requires assistance. Today 10% (650 million) of the world population is considered to be living with a disability. Universal design takes into consideration these spectrums and designs spaces with the hope that they are more functional and user-freindly. For example curb cuts were initially designed for people in wheelchairs, but now pedestrians with strollers, or rolling luggage use them because they are more functional and beneficial. To understand how spaces can be better designed for universal design 7 main prInciples are used. These principles have been developed by groups of architects, product designers, engineers, and environmental designers. These principles are:
1. equitable use: design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
2. Flexibility of use: design accommodates wide range of individual preference and abilities.
3. Simple and Intuitive Use: use of design is easy to understand, regardless of users experience, knowledge, language skills, or concentration levels.
4. Perceptible Information: design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or users sensory abilities.
5. Tolerance of Error:design minimizes hazards and adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
6. Low Physical Effort: design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with minimum fatigue.
7.Size and Space for Approach and Uses: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user’s size, posture, or mobility.
Using these principles I will be studying how barcelona deals with the issue of accessibility and universal design as it regards to the visual, physical, mental and cultural aspects of a space.
We arrived wednesday August 28, to our beautiful apartment on Calle Aldana. The picture on the right is the view from one of the balconies attached to my room. After getting settled we walked around and stopped to eat dinner. At dinner I tried my first spanish dish, chicken and meat paella. It was delicious. I was originally very nervous whether or not I would like the food here but that first meal helped to calm that fear. I'mm so far having a great time and I will right again soon.