Inclusive Architecture

Inclusive Architecture

Include: from Latin includere. To make part of a whole or set.

Architecture can too be an instrument for equality. This word encompasses not only persons with physical disabilities, but also the elderly, pregnant women, families, pedestrians and so on. Recent architectonic trends show more and more innovations towards inclusivity in the way spaces are designed.

Design and Universal Accessibility

Chile is a country in Latin America that has spearheaded inclusive architecture. Their “20.422” law was passed in 2010, it establishes rules on equal opportunity and social inclusion. It Defines two terms which are fundamental for this vision: “Universal Design” and “Universal Accessibility”.

Universal Design incorporates 7 principles to make a product usable by the most people possible. These are equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive use, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical effort and size and space for approach and use.

Some would say that Universal Accessibility is synonymous with invisible accessibility, the 20.422 law establishes that it is fulfilled when the user makes intuitive use of their environment without noticing anything special or exclusive to their capabilities. This is how physical and psychological equality is achieved.

Tearing down walls

We all face different social and psychological barriers. With inclusive architecture we can at least help eliminate the physical ones, give back independence and capabilities. Without a doubt we can create a world that is fairer from the foundations of our projects.

After all, and to quote Japanese architect Tadao Ando: “architecture is only completed by the intervention of the human being experiencing it”.

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