Morton Kesten Universal Design Competition
The Fourth Annual Morton Kesten Universal Design Competition is Now Open for Submissions!
The goal of the annual Morton Kesten Universal Design Competition is to create an opportunity for students across the United States to develop universally-designed spaces and products for which they will receive recognition. The Competition is in association with the Morton Kesten Summit, which is held every two years and features the latest developments in aging-in-place efforts by organizations and professionals across the country.
What is Universal Design?
USC’s annual Morton Kesten Universal Design Competition has utilized the pioneering Center for Universal Design’s internationally referenced Principles of Universal Design to guide the submission process. This year, the Competition is including a second definition and set of goals developed by the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access to broaden the scope for applicants to consider as part of their design development process and submission.
Center for Universal Design, NCSU Definition
In 1997, the Center for Universal Design, North Carolina State University convened a group of advocates of universal design who developed and compiled The Principles of Universal Design©, which have been widely cited since that time.
Definition: “The design of products and environments to be USABLE by ALL people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” The 7 Principles of Universal Design can be found in the Universal Design tab below or at: http://www.ncsu.edu/ncsu/design/cud/about_ud/udprinciples.htm
Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA) Center Definition
In 2005, the IDeA Center, University at Buffalo, launched an initiative to develop an updated conceptual framework for Universal Design that expands the focus to social participation and health, and links universal design to research.
Definition: “A design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation.” The definition and goals can be found in the Universal Design tab below or at: http://udeworld.com/goalsofud.html
Why Universal Design?
Homes that have supportive, comfortable and convenient features and products help to ensure that all residents can remain in their homes across the life span and with varying abilities. Yet, most homes present barriers to living independently, lack supportive features that could make daily activities easier, and have safety hazards that could lead to avoidable accidents such as falls. The majority of homes were not built with people of all ages, sizes, and abilities in mind. Universal design features and products play a critical role in the ability of all individuals to conduct their daily activities, age in their homes, and avoid institutional settings. Increasingly, professionals are creating designs and products that support all ages and stages of life.
To create an innovative design using the principles of Universal Design that support aging-in-place in one of two areas:
- Space: a) reconceptualize an existing kitchen/bath space; or b) create a brand new kitchen/bath space, or
- Product: develop a product/prototype that embraces and utilizes the ideas and principles of Universal Design for use at home.
What to Include in Your Design
ALL THREE OF THE FOLLOWING COMPONENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR SUBMISSIONS TO QUALIFY:
1. Design Process (250-500 words)
Describe how the challenge was approached. Include market research, research about universal design or assistive technology, and the engagement of user/experts.
2. Design Description (250-500 words)
Describe the design created and the degree to which the design efficiently facilitates or augments the users’ ability and experience through the innovative, resourceful, and appropriate application of universal design features. Please indicate which universal design definition you selected (Center for Universal Design or IDeA Center) and identify the universal design principals or goals utilized.
3. Visual Presentation
Submit diagrams, sections with scale figures, renderings, photos of models, photos of user/expert research, notations about materials, or details of important features are recommended.
2018 Competition Timeline
- Call for Design Submission Opens: Tuesday, January 2, 2018
- Deadline to Submit Your Design: Monday, April 2, 2018
- Announcement of Winners: May 2, 2018
- 1st Prize= $2,000
- 2nd Prize = $1,500
- 3rd Prize = $1,000
Click the tabs below to learn more!
- Current United States resident students and online students in any state enrolled in a degree granting 2 to 5 year undergraduate or graduate program in the United States.
- Multi-disciplinary teams are strongly encouraged to apply, with a maximum of six (6) members.
- Applicants should be willing to sign a media consent form to be recorded and photographed.
Submissions will be judged on how well they achieve the following:
- Reflect research into the existing market and the design fills a gap in that market
- Demonstrate innovative insights by engaging user/experts* in the design process and/or final design* = “user/experts” are people with functional differences that vary from the norm who experience every day how design fails and who can help to provide guidance on solutions (Ostroff, 1997)
- Integrate esthetic appeal with function
- Address anticipated feasibility and cost-effectiveness in replication or fabrication
- Incorporate attention to environmental sustainability in materials and production
- Showcase CUD’s Universal Design Principles (equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical effort, size and space for approach and use) OR IDeA’s Universal Design Goals (body fit, comfort, awareness, understanding, wellness, social integration, personalization, and cultural appropriateness)
- Describe how the design supports the user(s)’ ability to age in place
Judges to be Announced
Any intellectual property developed by an individual or team (participant) as part of their participation in the USC Universal Design Competition will remain the property of the participant(s), or participant(s)’ universities or employers, as applicable. The University of Southern California (USC) Davis School of Gerontology reserves the right to publicize designs following submission in print and online media including but not limited to: posters, newsletters, websites, and social media. Participants interested in intellectual property protection should take any steps necessary to protect patentable inventions, copyrighted work, or other intellectual property prior to submission. This may include the exclusion of patentable details in applicants’ submissions. The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology will not be held responsible for any use of participants’ submission content by any third party once it is publicized.
Universal Design Principles and Goals
Center for Universal Design, North Carolina State University – Universal Design Definition, Principles, and Guidelines
Definition: Architect Ron Mace defined Universal Design as “The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.”
The authors, a working group of architects, product designers, engineers and environmental design researchers, collaborated to establish the following Principles of Universal Design to guide a wide range of design disciplines including environments, products, and communications. These seven principles may be applied to evaluate existing designs, guide the design process and educate both designers and consumers about the characteristics of more usable products and environments.
The Principles of Universal Design are presented here, in the following format: name of the principle, intended to be a concise and easily remembered statement of the key concept embodied in the principle; definition of the principle, a brief description of the principle’s primary directive for design; and guidelines, a list of the key elements that should be present in a design which adheres to the principle. (Note: all guidelines may not be relevant to all designs.)
PRINCIPLE ONE: Equitable Use
The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
1a. Provide the same means of use for all users: identical whenever possible; equivalent when not.
1b. Avoid segregating or stigmatizing any users.
1c. Provisions for privacy, security, and safety should be equally available to all users.
1d. Make the design appealing to all users.
PRINCIPLE TWO: Flexibility in Use
The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
2a. Provide choice in methods of use.
2b. Accommodate right- or left-handed access and use.
2c. Facilitate the user’s accuracy and precision.
2d. Provide adaptability to the user’s pace.
PRINCIPLE THREE: Simple and Intuitive Use
Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
3a. Eliminate unnecessary complexity.
3b. Be consistent with user expectations and intuition.
3c. Accommodate a wide range of literacy and language skills.
3d. Arrange information consistent with its importance.
3e. Provide effective prompting and feedback during and after task completion.
PRINCIPLE FOUR: Perceptible Information
The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.
4a. Use different modes (pictorial, verbal, tactile) for redundant presentation of essential information.
4b. Provide adequate contrast between essential information and its surroundings.
4c. Maximize “legibility” of essential information.
4d. Differentiate elements in ways that can be described (i.e., make it easy to give instructions or directions).
4e. Provide compatibility with a variety of techniques or devices used by people with sensory limitations.
PRINCIPLE FIVE: Tolerance for Error
The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
5a. Arrange elements to minimize hazards and errors: most used elements, most accessible; hazardous elements eliminated, isolated, or shielded.
5b. Provide warnings of hazards and errors.
5c. Provide fail safe features.
5d. Discourage unconscious action in tasks that require vigilance.
PRINCIPLE SIX: Low Physical Effort
The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
6a. Allow user to maintain a neutral body position.
6b. Use reasonable operating forces.
6c. Minimize repetitive actions.
6d. Minimize sustained physical effort.
PRINCIPLE SEVEN: Size and Space for Approach and Use
Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user’s body size, posture, or mobility.
7a. Provide a clear line of sight to important elements for any seated or standing user.
7b. Make reach to all components comfortable for any seated or standing user.
7c. Accommodate variations in hand and grip size.
7d. Provide adequate space for the use of assistive devices or personal assistance.
Please note that the Principles of Universal Design address only universally usable design, while the practice of design involves more than consideration for usability. Designers must also incorporate other considerations such as economic, engineering, cultural, gender, and environmental concerns in their design processes. These Principles offer designers guidance to better integrate features that meet the needs of as many users as possible.
Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA), University at Buffalo, NY – Universal Design Definition and Goals
Definition: Universal design “a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation” (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012).
Goals of Universal Design
The IDeA Center developed a new conceptual framework for universal design that expands the original usability focus to social participation and health and acknowledges the role of context in developing realistic applications. Complementing the Principles of UD (NCSU, 1997), the Goals of Universal Design© define the outcomes of UD practice in ways that can be measured and applied to all design domains within the constraints of existing resources. In addition, they encompass functional, social, and emotional dimensions. Moreover, each goal is supported by an interdisciplinary knowledge base (e.g., anthropometrics, biomechanics, perception, cognition, safety, health promotion, social interaction). Thus, the Goals can be used effectively as a framework for both knowledge discovery and knowledge translation for practice. Moreover, the Goals can help to tie policy embodied in disability rights laws to UD and provide a basis for improving regulatory activities by the adoption of an outcomes-based approach.
Visit udeworld.com/goalsofud.html for visual and descriptive real-world examples of each Goal.
Accommodating a wide a range of body sizes and abilities
Keeping demands within desirable limits of body function and perceptio
Ensuring that critical information for use is easily perceived
Making methods of operation and use intuitive, clear and unambiguous
Contributing to health promotion, avoidance of disease and protection from hazards
Treating all groups with dignity and respect
Incorporating opportunities for choice and the expression of individual preferences
Respecting and reinforcing cultural values, and the social and environmental contexts of any design project
If you would like to reference the Goals of Universal Design, please credit “Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012”
Homes that have supportive, comfortable, and convenient features and products help to ensure that all residents can remain in their homes across the life span and with varying abilities. Yet, most homes present barriers to living independently, lack supportive features that could make daily activities easier, and have safety hazards that could lead to avoidable accidents such as falls. The majority of homes were not built with people of all ages, sizes, and abilities in mind. Universal design and visitability features and products play a critical role in the ability of all individuals to conduct their daily activities, age in their homes, and avoid institutional settings. Increasingly, professionals are creating designs and products that support all ages and stages of life.
To learn more about Visitability, go to the Concrete Change website, here.
To learn more about how people’s needs change as they age and how this relates to housing, read on below.
Click here to read a blog from the New York Times that highlights older adults’ experiences, needs, and concerns related to aging in place.
Click here to read how growing numbers of older adults are embracing technology.
Click here to read a report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Aging in Place and initiatives to improve living accommodations for the aging.
Click here for the Bipartisan Policy Center’s report on the links between housing and healthy aging.