How to Communicate Universal Design to Architects on a New Website? A Reflection on the Type of Knowledge Requested

Sidse Grangaard*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


Based on experiences with the development of a new research-based website on Universal Design meant to inspire and qualify the work of the Danish building sector, this paper examines the types of knowledge requested by professionals in the building sector when working with Universal Design.
The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority commissioned a website with the aim of increasing the building sector’s knowledge of Universal Design and supporting a change in attitude towards universal design. The site is intended to function as a platform for disseminating knowledge about Universal Design that can support the regulatory system.
The empirical material of the study consists of data from qualitative interviews with actors from the building sector and workshops with the advisory board of the website. The analysis shows that, on one hand, the sector requires good examples of Universal Design and knowledge about users and their needs and, on the other hand, it needs detailed help such as comprehensive checklists to ensure the appropriate process is undertaken. However, technical information about, for example, the gradient of a ramp, does not contribute to an architectural idea and will not change any mindsets in regard to Universal Design. This paper reflects on the duality of requests from the sector using the theoretical concept of liminality.
The paper describes and argues for the chosen approach for the website, namely focusing on inspiring and assisting professionals in the building sector to enhance their level of knowledge and support a change in practice towards Universal Design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUniversal Design 2021 : From Special to Mainstream Solutions
EditorsIra Verma
Number of pages14
PublisherIOS Press
Publication date4 Jun 2021
ISBN (Electronic)9781643681900
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2021
Event5th International Conference on Universal Design, UD 2021 - Virtual, Online, Finland
Duration: 9 Jun 202111 Jun 2021


Conference5th International Conference on Universal Design, UD 2021
CityVirtual, Online
SeriesStudies in Health Technology and Informatics

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The authors and IOS Press.


  • Inspiration
  • knowledge
  • liminality
  • mindset
  • Universal Design
  • Architectural Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Housing
  • Disabled Persons


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