Historical Foundations

Image of Architect Ron MaceThe term, “Universal Design”(UD) was coined by the late architect, Ron Mace, founder of the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University.

In the late 1990s, Mace and his colleagues established the 7 principles of Universal Design.




7 principles of Universal DesignThese seven principles are intended to assist architects, builders, designers and developers as they seek to plan environments that are accessible to the greatest range of users, regardless of their physical ability.






Many changes to the environment that have occurred as a result of universal design in architecture are actually beneficial to all of us, not just those with disabilities.

Below are two stair cases the original is on the LEFT and the re-design is on the RIGHT. Why was this stair case re-designed?

Circular staircase

redesigned stairs as a ramp


   ramp with stroller, child and mom

Can you think of specific examples of universal design that you use?


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