Left out : Universal design in a left-heander’s kitchen

Kristen Gabriele
ARC623 | Fall 2012

Handedness throughout history has been subject to all types of product and environmental bias. Product design is perhaps the largest hurdle for left-handers, who adapt each day to right-hander items. Many of these items, though seemingly harmless, can in fact be dangerous to left-handers. Although left-hand dominant individuals have no physical, mental or social disabilities, they have consistently been an ignored and underrepresented in society. After an analysis of left-handed design strategies, an intervention for one of the interviewee’s own homes was generated. Concepts of Universal Design as well as the interviewee’s own personal interests were taken into consideration to create a newly renovated kitchen that would serve to accommodate a left-handed owner as well as any other user. This intervention, while affordable and aesthetically pleasing, creates a kitchen that can now be more comfortable for a variety of users both in the present and the future.