Complete references: AN ARCHITECTURAL UNIVERSAL DESIGN CHARRETTE WITH PROFESSIONAL SENSITIVITY IN MIND, Nubia Bernardi, Doris C.C.K. Kowaltowski, Cláudia Martin & Ana Paula S. Costa, apresentado no 22nd IAPS 2012 International Association of People Environment Studies, Glasgow, Escócia, 24-29/06/2012. pp. 1 - 21.
Year: 2012
Type: Trabalhos completos publicados em anais de congressos

This paper describes an architectural-design charrette conducted with professionals in a universal design (UD) course of the graduate programme of the School of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Urban Design of the University of Campinas, UNICAMP, Brazil. Universal design was discussed with emphasis on accessibility in the built environment and way-finding. The effect of UD on the design process, aesthetics, professional ethics and the participation of users with disabilities were assessed. The group of architects participating in the programme developed a design project for a public-service centre for the city of Campinas in the district of Barão Geraldo. Such centres, called ?Poupatempo?, are used by state governments to facilitate the bureaucratic needs of the population, such as obtaining or renewing a driver?s licence and other official matters. The centres are generally organised into five sections: reception; orientation; instruction; official services (photography, medical examination, documents, etc.) and waiting area and final service desk. The design process was conducted as a group charrette. Potential users with various disabilities evaluated the design proposal. To enable this participation, various design-communication tools were employed, such as tactile maps, access models and mock-ups robust enough to allow manipulation during participatory design sessions. To prepare the design exercise, a brief was developed through activities such as value prioritisation and by applying the problem-seeking method to clearly define the goals, facts, concepts, needs and problems to be addressed. Way-finding and legibility were considered of prime importance. The group-design process, the design and the participation of disabled users were evaluated. The results showed that despite the importance given to UD in the design process, the architects were principally concerned with the design?s formal or aesthetic aspects. Accessibility was addressed through the introduction of ramps within the building complex and the marking of a route leading from the local bus station to the new service centre. The documentation of the design process showed that the process differed little from a traditional design process based on analysis, synthesis and evaluation through sketches and drawings. Thus, although the design professionals became more aware of UD necessities through the pre-design activities and more sensitive to user needs, the design process proceeded unchanged. New attitudes and procedures were restricted to the communication tools developed for the participatory phases of the process. In summary, design professionals resist new ways of doing things and emphasise aesthetics and function in their work, elements that are stressed in formal architectural education and architectural critiques. New attitudes were not observed, which may be because the participatory phase was introduced only during design evaluation and potential users were not part of the pre-design and design-development phases. In addition, the designers who participated in the charrette came from schools where UD has only recently been introduced into architectural pedagogy and is not yet an essential part of professional studio design. An analysis of the participatory phase showed that potential users with visual disabilities had difficulties understanding the design and the access route. Wheelchair users criticised various aspects of access. The charrette showed that to increase the sensitivity of professional designers to UD issues, potential users with disabilities must participate in the design process from the start, providing input during pre-design discussions and programme definition to direct the design development beyond aesthetics and inspire new communication tools to facilitate design evaluation.

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