The Concepts of Accessibility and Equality in Design Education: The Universal Design Approach

Guliz Mugan Akıncı


Universal design approach aims to design products and environments that provide equal access for everyone to the variety of activities. Universal design applications and research and discussions related to these applications can be seen in different fields very often especially in the last years. Concerning the fact that its possibility of application is very new in Turkey, on the one hand, one of the aims of this study is to introduce and explain this new approach. On the other hand, the study aims to exemplify how the new information related to the philosophy of universal design approach can be integrated to the design education and find the ways of application in the university environment where the next expert generation has been coached. Within this framework, it is aimed to introduce the content and the way of application of the course of “Universal Design” which have been taught in the curriculum of the Architecture and Interior Architecture Departments of Okan University. Within the scope of the course, the students are expected to investigate and analyze the reflections of seven principles of universal design in real-life settings for the different and varied groups of human beings. While integrating the universal design approach to the design education, the things that is wanted to be emphasized is, this new and different approach is an inspiring fact for the new generation of designers concerning the concepts of accessibility and equality. The designs, organizations, suggestions, studies and researches of the design students of the course has demonstrated that if the universal design principles has become a component of the design education, it would also be achieving as a rewarding and fostering attempt.


Universal design, universal design principles, okan university, “Universal Design” course

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