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Universal Design in East Asia

Location : Home Session Summary S-06: Universal Design in East Asia
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Young-jun Ko

Professor of Design Dept., Seoul National University of Science and Technology (Seoultech) / Vice President, Korea Society of Science of Design (KSSD): Korea

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Applications of universal design to products and environments are required as number of elderly population increase very rapidly and social integration of disabled people is necessary. To meet the needs, various efforts have been made. For example, UD competitions and exhibition have been held. UD educations for civil servants have been conducted. Due to such efforts, achievements have been made. In some newly opened subway stations, escalator, stairs, and elevators are placed on parallel so people can choose one according to their preferences. Parks near the Han River are connected to it by underground passage and elevators so that bike riders can access to it. To sustainable application of universal design, UD guidelines such as those for welfare facilities have been published. A company has developed universal kitchen. Reflecting the increase of interests on disaster and safety, products and manuals for disaster preparedness have been designed. Such efforts have enhanced accessibility and usability of the environments and the products. But results made so far are heavily indebted to some organizations and researchers. For further development of UD in the country, active participation of companies and local governments is essential. In addition to asking them to apply UD to their products and environments, formulation of policies to induce their participations should also be considered.

Hong Kong – a city for all?

Chan Lai Kiu

Vice Chairman of Hong Kong Architecture Centre: China

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Dr. Chan, being a founder and currently the Vice Chairman of the charity organization, Hong Kong Architecture Centre which is missioned to promote "Architecture for All", will share her perspective of Universal Design in Hong Kong. In 2012, for the first time since 1985, Hong Kong women outranked Japan as being the number one in life expectancy in the world. However, Hong Kong is relatively slow on the development of Universal Design in catering the need of the growing population of elderly and disabled. Dr. Chan will give an account of the challenges faced in Hong Kong with its extra-high density, hilly topography and inpatient people. She will also share about the recent developments in Hong Kong on the subjects and the learning from Hong Kong's participation in the Post-quake reconstruction after the 512 WenChuan Earthquake in China. Apart from being an architect, Dr Chan is also an artist and will present her views from a more sensational angle beyond the hard facts.

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