Inclusive design elements in an open office

Chelsea Davis
ARC605 | Fall 2013

There is a new movement toward the implementation of inclusive design ideas in the built world. In order to apply the eight goals of universal design (body fit, comfort, wellness, awareness, understanding, social integration, personalization, and cultural appropriateness), various elements of a space must be evaluated in terms of their potential to eliminate discrimination as a result of age, weight, height, ethnicity, or any other characteristic. With the basis of an office building established, the following study examines individual elements of an open office space in terms of their universal design aspects.

Topics of interest include systems (both active and passive), acoustics, ergonomics, and spacial relationships. Precedent building designs had been studied for their attractive interior elements; these same office buildings are further explored for their implementation of or lack of attention to the eight goals. It is hopeful that architects and other designers will conduct similar studies before designing a space and eventually, universal design will become a necessity.