A universal design adaptable to society

Designing and building for specific characteristics of each person or adding at the last minute a ramp that had not been planned before is not the solution to the problem of accessibility in buildings. From the beginning of a project, design must be at the service of society as a whole and serve at every stage of each person's life regardless of their height, age, way of communicating or traveling. The responsibility of architects is essential to project ourselves in the future with cities, spaces and environments that are truly useful to those who inhabit them.

In creating buildings that are tailored to personal needs, we come to certain questions that we must ask ourselves as managers, as architects of such projects. As architects, we must be capable and, above all, be prepared to add issues of this type, and thus be able to help those who find themselves in disadvantaged situations on a daily basis. In fact, a universal design could be assumed that conforms to a public objective that responds to the needs of a part of the population that increasingly demands their rights.

There are many aspects that can be referred to on the subject of architecture, but they can be summarized in just one. Do a mental exercise, and virtually circulate through the project in mind, putting ourselves in the shoes of different people with disabilities: the blind, people with wheelchairs, the deaf... A good project will have been achieved when no one notices that there is “something special” But when all users can use and move seamlessly through the environment. This is what we know by "unnoticed accessibility."

Accessibility, the removal of architectural barriers and the standardization of such measures should be promoted, since it is not only a necessity for disabled people but an advantage for all citizens. The architects' guild must realize the importance of truly and responsibly considering the principles of universal design.


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