SOUTHEAST ASIA BUILDING18 Nov 2021
Making Spaces Touch-Free: Trends in Universal Design In A Post Covid World
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What we learned during this pandemic is that many principles of universal design are much more relevant. Simple applications to space planning like wider passageways that consider wheelchair-users, are likewise helpful today to health precautions in social distancing.

In mitigating physical contact to reduce the spread of germs and pathogens, we now make use of an assortment of tools to make our spaces touch-free. Be it digital interfaces or analog devices, such as the use of automatic doors, foot pedals to control lifts and sinks, still fall within means for applying minimal effort in accessing environments for the differently abled.

However, where contact is needed like safety grab bars, new attention should be made on the choice of materials. Ideally making use of surfaces that are self-cleaning or non-conducive to germ growth.

I think many things we design now shall be seen through the lens of the pandemic, allowing more flexibility and functionality in creating healthful environments.