Although I have spoken primarily of residential application, it should be noted that commercial implementation of this concept is of equal importance. These same people that desire to age in their homes will also strive to maintain an active lifestyle in their communities. Minimum accessibility requirements will no longer suffice as public awareness of, and preferences for, barrier-free, inclusive spaces increase. One must understand that designing these types of spaces enables all to use them and eliminates discrimination by providing the same choices to all.
It is of paramount importance that designers, architects, and builders begin to embrace this specialty and learn to effectively market it in order to one day achieve reality where invisible inclusivity is the new standard to which all new construction is held. Once we are successful at altering public perception, design/build professionals will comfortably adopt these practices. Those of us that understand the importance and urgency behind this concept must be active in the educational and professional arenas, tirelessly advocating and passionately legislating for awareness and change. There is no valid reason for the stigmatization of inclusive design and it is our responsibility to change public and professional attitudes to come in line with what we inclusive design activists consider to be just plain good design.
Art and design are synergistic; Good design, that is to say art, should be accessible to all. It is the responsibility of the design community to provide inspirational, safe spaces that function according to their intended purpose. Providing adaptability for changing needs without sacrificing beauty of the space or the dignity of our clients requires more thoughtful solutions. . .it is the icing on the cake.
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