Accessible architecture or inclusive architecture or design means how the architect thinks about projects in anticipation of future customer needs. It represents the design of an environment so that it can be accessed and used by as many people as possible, regardless of age, gender and disability, in other words, places that are inclusive.
Nowadays, architects, designers, planners, engineers, consultants, and technical specialists should make an effort to create environments that encourage social interaction, integration, communication, and respect. Places that celebrate diversity and difference since an environment that is designed inclusively is not just relevant to buildings; it also applies to surround and other open spaces, wherever people go to do any activity every day, including shops, offices, hospitals, leisure facilities, parks, and streets.
Inclusive design always keeps the diversity and uniqueness of each individual in mind. Moreover, the accessible architecture is not only made up of people with reduced mobility or disabled but in general, it also takes into account obese people, children, elderly or even pregnant women.
In addition to this, it is really important that built environment professionals include potential users at all stages of the design process. It means that these people who inspire this way of design should be involved from the design brief and detailed design through to construction and completion. Where possible, it is important to incorporate disabled people in the design process.
The Principles of Inclusive Design
Now let’s talk about the principles of inclusive design as it relates to the built environment:
-Inclusive – so everyone can use it safely, easily and with dignity.
-Responsive – taking account of what people say they need and want.
-Flexible – so different people can use it in different ways.
-Convenient – so everyone can use it without too much effort or separation.
-Accommodating for all people, regardless of their age, gender, mobility, ethnicity or circumstances.
-Welcoming – with no disabling barriers that might exclude some people.
-Realistic – offering more than one solution to help balance everyone’s needs and recognizing that one solution may not work for all.
The importance of this type of architecture is that this thinking on the part of the architect in accessibility will be really important because it will allow more security and physical integrity to the people in order to enjoy the spaces without limitations. In this case, architecture becomes something that enables a world where everyone can participate equally. It is important that people involved in the process embrace and celebrate diversity and see this as a great opportunity for creativity.
Benefits of Inclusive Design
There are many benefits that can be obtained thanks to inclusive architecture and its positive impact on society; some of them are the following:
– Independent Living: Inclusive Design ensures that disabled people are not forced out of their community and are encouraged to live an independent life.
– Aging Population: By designing environments to be inclusive this can ensure that older generations can stay as active members of their communities.
– Social Inclusion: Social inclusion enables disabled people to fully participate in society. An environment that is designed to be inclusive promotes equality and makes life easier and safer for everyone.
Regardless of the circumstance, all people deserve the same opportunities to participate in society. Inclusive architecture becomes something that enables a world where everyone can participate equally. It can create solutions that are inclusive and usable by all people no matter their diversity. It has been said that design enlightens and improves the quality of life and great design is something that should be available to all sectors of society.