The 48 Hour Marathon for Universal Design

The 48 Hour Marathon for UD (48HDM) is a special workshop hosted by the International Association for Universal Design (IAUD).
Guided by the principle of advancing “research for creating products and social environments that are user-centered and respectful of the diversity of individuals” as stated in the International Universal Design Declaration 2002, the workshop aims to explore and promote universal design, and train future creators of universal design.

48HDM's four goals:

  1. Encourage adoption and awareness of universal design
  2. Nurture future universal design leaders
  3. Develop new manufacturing methods that work synergistically with local communities
  4. Encourage users with disabilities to actively participate in universal design processes

IAUD held its first workshop in 2004, and in 2006 renamed the workshop to “48-Hour Design Marathon.” Each annual 48HDM reflects the characteristics and social backgrounds of the host locale.

Workshop participants will be divided into five or six teams, which will each develop a universal design proposal. Each team will consist of guest users who are consumers with diverse values and lifestyles, plus five or six corporate designers, and two students.

Each team has just 48 hours to develop a concrete universal design proposal pertaining to a user-centered product or living environment. Within the 48 hours, teams conduct fieldwork, which involves identifying problems to be solved by accompanying users with disabilities to the scene that could potentially benefit from universal design. This is followed by the processes of extracting ideas, turning the ideas into designs, and fine-tuning the designs using models.

Teams will present their proposals in a public presentation attended by participating companies, members of the press, and guests operating manufacturing businesses.

Team Discussion image
Team Discussion

Field Servey image
Field Servey

Presentation image

to top of this page