Workplace Design Principles

A starting point for an evidenced-based design process

Universal Bathroom Design January 22, 2009

Filed under: Bathroom Design — ia2studio @ 10:31 pm
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In order to move in a built environment and to use related services and facilities certain certain elements should be taken into consideration. Individuals with reduced mobility need a number of simple but yet critical elements, specifically when designing Universal Bathrooms.

When designing commercial design, designers have to consider Universal and accessible design. Elements have to be realized using techniques and methods that can comply with appropriate standards and are compatible with movements for those who use wheelchairs. There are multiple solution plans when designing Universal Bathrooms.

Preiser, Wolfgang. Universal Design Handbook. McGraw- Hill, 2001.

               26.6 – 26.7

Rana Salah


Universal Kitchen Design

Filed under: Kitchen Design — ia2studio @ 6:10 am
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The potential principles of Universal Design (disabilities) in a kitchen are:

  1. Operability: This can be achieved when everyone can use the design.
  2. Perceptibility: This can be achieved when everyone can perceive the design. For an example use sensory technologies to help aid people with disabilities.
  3. Simplicity: This can be achieved when everyone can understand and use the design. An example of this is using graphic symbols for those who are literacy challenge like children.
  4. Forgiveness: This is achieved when design limits consequences and error.

By: Katie Huddleston

Page: 14

Source: Lidman, William, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler. Universal Principles of Design. Rockport, 2003.


Universal Design in the Workplace: Common Design Flaws

Filed under: Philosophical,Workplace Design — ia2studio @ 6:06 am
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When universal design is a top priority of your client it is imperative to gain an extensive knowledge of what constitutes a compliant workplace.  Standard accessibility dimensions can easily be retrieved from a book but there are some common designs flaws that even the skilled designer can overlook.

1.        It is typical for facility managers to standardize components to save money.  This means that many worksurfaces are actually mounted to the tops of file pedestals.  This cost-   saving solution can accommodate most workers but will cause accessibility compliance issues (Whitson).


2.        Access control systems device heights are commonly mounted too high to be universally accessible (McPherson).


3.       Accessible parking spaces often do not have access aisles (Wilson).



McPherson, Ron. “ADA integration.” Buildings. 95.9 (September 2001): 26.

Whitson, Alan. “Feel the churn? Universal plan is one way to mitigate the cost of change.” Buildings. 91 (March 1997): 64

Wilson, Marianne. “ADA Myths Remain.” Chain Store Age. 82.1 (January 2006): 104.

Posted by Bret

Universal Kitchen Design: The Work Triangle

Filed under: Kitchen Design — ia2studio @ 12:17 am
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Before establishing a design for a kitchen to be used daily by people with a variety of mental and physical disabilites, one possible consideration is:

“If two or more people cook simultaneously, a work triangle should be placed for each cook. One leg of the primary and seconday triangles may be shared, but the two should not cross one another. Appliances may be shared or separate.” (Peterson, p.21).

Peterson, Mary Jo. Universal Kitchen & Bathroom Planning . McGraw-Hill, 1998.

Posted by: Jenna Tharrett


Universal Design in the Workplace: Important Considerations January 21, 2009

Filed under: Philosophical — ia2studio @ 9:12 pm
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Of the many important considerations when implementing universal design into the workplace, the following considerations can add to the success of a design solution:

  • Eliminating client’s common perception that only individuals with disabilities can benefit from universal design.
  • Take special care to avoid lowering the feeling of independence or creating feelings of isolation in the individual requiring special accomodations as a result of their workstation location, appearance, etc.
  • Standards and regulations should not be considered sufficient in all cases. By learning about the abilities of the disabled individual and by considering standards as the minimum, the individual will be provided with a more accomodating environment.

Other useful references include:

Kelly II, Joseph Dennis. “Universal Design.” ICON 2004. 12-22. 21 Jan 2009 <;.

Posted by: Jenna Tharrett


What is a Universal Bathroom?

Filed under: Bathroom Design — ia2studio @ 5:33 am
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Instead of looking at “Universal Bathrooms” as bathrooms for only the disabled, they must be seen as bathrooms that all people can comfortably and safely use. The Universal Bathroom must be a flexible and dynamic design that is adaptable to all varieties of people. Instead of a “one size fits all” type of a bathroom, the Universal Bathroom design supports the idea of personalization through design flexibility. (Preiser, pg 42.5)

Preiser, Wolfgang, and Elaine Ostroff. Universal Design Handbook. 1st ed. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001.

Posted by: Joanna Tzilos