Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
Nowadays the need to create a better quality of life for citizens involves a wide variety of built environments: a responsive design can enhance everyday life at home, at the office and everywhere else as well as improve the interface in terms of making the environment more comfortable and easier to use. Accessibility is therefore one of the first concepts we must take into account when designing an environment, not only because we agree with Universal Design principles or because norms and regulations require us to do so in some countries, but because it is more economic. To add a new element or to think of changing a design in a second phase, when the building is already built, is always more expensive. Moreover, our belief is that accessibility and usability inherent in good design can be further supplemented by customized and affordable user-friendly basic packages. Our major research concern is to blend the requirements for comfortable environments and for supporting daily life, as shown through the following goals:
- a responsive design;
- an accessible design;
- an affordable and effective design ;
- a technological and user-friendly environment.
We will show some outstanding examples which we believe to be blending good responses both on the design side and the technological equipment, so that any kind of citizen or user can really feel that the environment is familiar to his/her lifestyle’s activities.
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