Strategies for Teaching Universal Design

Year: 2011
Editor: Kovacevic, Ahmed, Ion, William, McMahon, Chris, Buck, Lyndon and Hogarth, Peter
Author: Vavik, Tom
Series: E&PDE
Section: Sustainable and Universal Design
Page(s): 360-365


This paper presents a framework for teaching the complexity of Universal Design (UD). At the Institute of Design at Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) the theme 'Universal Design' is introduced in the second year in a five-week module within the course 'User Oriented Design'. The philosophy behind the module is based on an inclusive design process focusing on involving people with reduced capabilities. The paper describes a holistic model of teaching Universal Design and presents essential elements in an inclusive design process. Examples from students' work are shown that aim at designing products that are appealing and offer a desired identity. Conclusively, the discussion part of the paper reflects on the needs for universal design curricula in general and on challenges and improvements for the user-oriented design course at AHO in particular.

Keywords: Inclusive design processes, user involvement, examples of student’s projects.


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