Have you ever encounter a situation like this,
your hands are full of grocery bags,
you get to a door,
you realize, there’s no way you can open that door knob.
without putting the stuff down.
In that case, it’s possible you’ve encountered a round door knob.
For many people, encountering a door without an easily operable lever.
is usually just a minor inconvenience.
But for people with manual dexterity limitations,
hand injuries, and other related disabilities,
a round door knob may prevent them from being able to go through that door.
If that door had a lever style handle,
it could be operable with a closed fist,or even an elbow,
making it much more accessible to people with or without disabilities.
Similarly, even though power door operators
are often designed for people with disabilities,
the reality is that they make
going through a door easier for all kinds of people.
Including people using wheelchairs, crutches and walkers,
包括使用轮椅 拐杖 助行架的人
people carrying handful of shopping bags,
parents with strollers,
and delivery people carrying boxes or pushing trolleys.
I’m an interior designer
and I often think about how everyday environments
could be improved with good design
from overall circulation flows throughout spaces to details like door hardware.
And a part of good design is having
the awareness and consideration for people of different abilities.
While many accessible design components
may have initially been designed with disabilities in mind,
but majority of accessible improvements to products,fixtures and environments
actually end up providing better access for everyone.
Automatic toilet flushes, faucets and soap dispensers
are easier to use for people
who can not reach or can not operate levers, buttons and valves,
but it also makes using a washroom
more sanitary and more convenient for most people.
Visually contrasting flooring transitions, tactile warning strips,
and cane detectable barriers
help many people whether they have a visual impairment or not,
to see and detect oncoming hazards more easily.
Over the last few decades,
some designers have also adopted the principles of universal design
which is a design approach that considers many different human factors,
including abilities, age, genders and cultural backgrounds.
包括人的能力 年龄 性别以及文化背景等
Universal design reframes the approach to
how we think about people with disabilities,
where their needs are not seen as special circumstances,
but as a part of many different human factors that require consideration.
For instance, drinking fountains, lavatories, and service counters with high and low surfaces,
例如 装有高低台面的饮水机 洗手池和服务台
or desks and tables where the heights are adjustable,
are not only designed for the use of wheelchair users,
but also for children, older adults, people in different heights
也是为小孩 老人 不同身高的人
and people with different usage preferences.
Simple easily navigable wayfinding with visual and tactile signage
help people with visual and auditory impairments,
but can also improve the experience of people
who speak different languages, and people with cognitive disabilities.
Universal toilet rooms can accommodate not only wheelchair users,
but also individuals travelling with caregivers of the same or opposite gender,
families with children
as well as people who prefer to use non-gendered washrooms.
Often the concept of providing accommodations to disabled people
is misunderstood as making disabled people dependent on society to help them.
When in fact accommodating disabilities is pretty much the opposite of that.
While some disabled people do require caretakers
or guide animals to help them with their day to day life,
the goal of accessible design is actually
to provide independence for people with disabilities.
If we provide ways for people to independently open doors,
go up levels, use the toilet,
get around safely, obtain services, and find information,
basically go about their day to day life like most other people.
Then technically, they’re not disabled anymore.
It’s important to realize that
traditionally we have built our environments to exclude certain people.
Disabilities are not inherently possessed by the individual
they’re shaped by the barriers we have put up.
While it’s obviously not practical to immediately rebuild everything，
there are still things we can do and steps we can take
to remove these barriers.
Some may argue that
designing and building accessible products and enviroments can be costly,
Well,that may be true in some circumstances,
When it comes to building new spaces and creating new products,
there is often not a cost difference to implementing accessible features.
Choosing a more visually contrasting colour at a change in floor level
usually costs nothing as long as the product is the same.
And installing one type of door lever over another
will result in minimal price differences, if any.
But of course, there are still costs to some accessible features,
and the virtual fitting of existing non-extensible spaces
could have a high initial cost.
However, in many cases,
it is arguably more economically detrimental to ignore accessibility.
According to the World Health Organization,
around 15 % of the world’s population live with disabilities,
a percentage that’s expected to rise
in most developed nations due to the increase in the older adult populations.
Communities and businesses all benefit from the participation of people with disabilities
as consumers as well as being productive members of the workforce.
Even in private homes,
inaccessible design will also directly and indirectly cost individuals money
such as in lots of product activities
as well as in the cost of caretakers
or people taking time off work to care for disabled family members.
By building spaces that accommodate people with disabilities,
we can provide them with economic empowerment and independence.
And in most cases,
we will also improve the quality of life for just about everybody.
If you look at it this way,
accessible design may just be one of
the most morally and fiscally responsible things we can do.
So what do you think? What are some design improvements
that you think would benefit accessibility and usability in your life?
无论是在家 工作 学校或者是公共场合
whether it’s at home, work, school or a public space.
Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for watching.
This video is a part a series
where I discuss the various aspects of the interior design profession.
If you are interested, here are some more videos to check out
and please subscribe for more.
Until next time!
Have you ever encounter a situation like this,