The Museum for All Project is an ongoing user-based action-research project exploring ways in which the experience of visiting a museum can be enhanced for all users. The direct outcomes are a website and ‘Design Book’ bringing together the research results as a structured list of suggestions and recommendations for museum designers, curators and visitors to support and facilitate co-design of exhibitions and museum spaces.
The Jury applauded the deep commitment to user engagement and co-design involving some 213 people across seven categories of users, the focus on what makes for a good experience in museums, and the main outcome - the ‘Design Book’, but suggests that there remains scope for an investigation of global precedents to give the project international relevance.
In designing its own studio and office accommodation, Quadrangle Architects has demonstrated an in-depth understanding of the physical and psychological imperatives of Universal Design. This elegant design demonstrates a high degree of sophistication in the unobtrusive way it has solved complex problems of access and human interaction, while subtle use of color and detail create a warm and uplifting working environment.
The Jury thought this an exemplar Universal Design workplace, but to fully realize the potential of the project, it urges Quadrangle Architects to develop an outward-looking dissemination program to communicate the benefits of UD beyond its own community of designers.
Smart Universal Design encapsulates Sekisui’s future vision for Universal Design. By focusing attention on the sensory and aesthetic elements of housing construction and design Sekisui seeks to go beyond meeting our basic needs for safety and ease of use, and address emotional and psychological needs. People with limitations to one of their senses often have a awareness heightened in other senses, and so can benefit from Smart Universal Design.
The Jury welcomed this commitment by Sekisui to develop the aesthetic side of Universal Design, which is often overlooked or ignored to the detriment of UD.
Sekisui House Ltd has developed the ‘Airkis’ standard in air quality around a set of material specifications that will ensure that indoor levels of five key chemicals remain below the threshold where they might pose a potential threat to children. This sets standards for design, construction and delivery at less than 50% of Housing Ministry guidelines. Sekisui plans to role out this standard across all its housing including rental and apartment blocks.
The jury commends Sekisui on such a bold initiative, in particular the Universal Design approach in prioritizing the needs of the most vulnerable and thereby bringing benefits to all users.
A clean, simple and friendly implementation of sophisticated technology to deliver an affordable, small and flexible communication device for people with extreme physical limitations. A range of control options make it possible to communicate with minimal movement, while it is easy for caregivers to change settings to suit the user. As a dedicated stand-alone product it offers greater operational stability than computer and tablet-operated alternatives.
Although in reality an assitive technology device, the Jury thought that it further demonstrated the power of Panasonic’s UD philosophy in delivering people-friendly design solutions that improve daily life for all people.
‘Padre’ is an elegant evolution of the ‘Madre’ seating system which won a Gold Award in 2012 and represents the full development of an in-house user-research methodology that positions Kokuyo at the forefront of Universal Design practice. In particular through its focus on adding value by working with ‘sensitive’ users to deliver validated products that offer benefits to all.
The Jury commends Kokuyo on its thorough UD research and development process and suggests that having established a leading position in this field it disseminates its design process widely through publication and professional workshops.
Design Psychology-based Remote Control Easy for Anyone to Use. An excellent example of industrial collaboration with a research institute, giving real insight into user behavior. While the idea of hiding secondary controls is not new, an in-depth understanding of user psychology has ensured that the implementation is clean, easy to understand and highly intuitive.
The Jury applauded the focus on psychological and emotional aspects of design, but suggested that a broader spectrum of users - not simply older people - would have ensured true universality.
A simple user-friendly design addressing a security issue for many people. The wireless door monitor is easy to install, use and carry from room to room. Its large screen offers an excellent view of whoever is at the door and the ability to make a photographic record of callers.
The Jury was impressed with the consideration given to ease of use by a wide range of people and the way Panasonic’s UD policy delivers quality products meeting real needs.
Two new models transform the well-known Panasonic slanted-drum washer-dryer into a full range of products, significantly expanding the flexibility of the system and maximizing consumer choice and convenience. The addition of new usability features, including a color touch screen and smart phone compatibility further increase the functionality of the range, offering benefits to a very wide range of consumers.
The Jury was impressed by the extent to which Panasonic’s UD process is driving innovation across its many departments and subsidiaries.
The Slim Fan is an elegant and innovative design incorporating sophisticated technology to deliver a Universal Design solution, notable for its high level of safety, usability and energy efficiency, and its attention to all-year-round comfort and air quality.
The jury welcomed this design which, along with others developed since the Fukishima accident, for its energy efficiency. This feature, in combination with an excellent remote control and attention to ease of use, make it a genuine product for the future, while the elegant design demonstrates the aesthetic potential of well realized Universal Design.
A raised planter designed to facilitate group interaction and conviviality while allowing older people with limited mobility to enjoy the deep pleasure of growing their own food and flowers, and a sense of co-operative independence. In the research and development process the Community Gardening Support Group realized the importance of support activities allied to the product.
While there are similar schemes in operation globally, the Jury feels the key to success lies in deep community involvement. As our societies age, ways of keeping older people with restricted mobility engaged and integrated into local communities will become crucially important.
A deceptively simple piece of packaging design, this light bulb pack demonstrates a high level of attention to important usability issues. The product is highly visible, so avoiding confusion with versions with different finishes, fittings and light sources. There is no need for scissors or force to open the pack, disposability is simplified and the pack displays well.
The Jury thought the combination of usability, aesthetic and sustainable features make this an exemplary piece of UD packaging design.
Innovative packaging design of Bonoteo tablet 50mg based on universal design. Packaging design for medications that require unusual dose or administration regimes has a crucial role to play, especially where the end user, as in the case of osteoporosis. Astellas Pharma has applied UD principles in designing packaging for its one-tablet-a-month 50mg Bonoteo medication that conforms to the highest standards with respect to handling and storing in the pharmacy, use in the home and integrity of information down to the individual tablet.
The Jury applauded the design, but regretted the lack of good evidence of user involvement in design, testing, validation and in use evaluation to confirm its UD credentials.
The life Innovation Container is a rugged transportable power supply unit capable of generating up to 10 kWh of power a day. It was designed to bring electricity to places where it is not available, in particular in developing countries, where it can power for example, schools, medical centers and facilities supporting training and small-business development. Housed in a robust and secure container the container captures and stores solar energy via an array of panels, batteries and control equipment.
The Jury was impressed with the fact that this unit proved adaptable enough to be swiftly deployed to Miyagi Prefecture in response to the Great Japanese Earthquake, where it served to power information and communication equipment.