Universal Design Symposium 2014

Universal Design Symposium 2014

Universal Design Symposium 2014

Universal Design Symposium 2014

October 22, 2014 all-day
Villa Maria College
240 Pine Ridge Road
Buffalo, NY 14225
Sandra Reicis

Villa Maria College Interior Design program is proud to host the 2014 Universal Design Symposium, an all day symposium teaching the positive effects of Universal Design on life quality and home design.  At the session’s end, attendees will understand UD, be aware of functional and attractive design solutions, be able to source economical solutions, and be exposed to other critical skills as well.

The keynote address will be delivered by award-winning author Cynthia Leibrock, and will include other presentations from Dr. Alex Bitterman, Korydon Smith, and Beth Tauke.

See below for the full agenda, and to register online.


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8:30 a.m. Coffee – Villa Maria College Auditorium
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Keynote Address: Cynthia Leibrock

Residential Universal Design for Health and Longevity
1 Hour LU/HSW Credit AIA/CES Registered • 1.0 IDCEC CEU Credit

The principles and benefits of Universal Design will be presented through a visual tour of Green Mountain Ranch, a renovated home in Northern Colorado.   Over 200 design strategies and products will be identified to increase awareness of design applications and potential. Lifestyle improvements, general health and flexibility of use will be emphasized to encourage the adoption of Universal Design as a general practice.

10:45 a.m. Panel Discussion

Working with Universal Design • 1.0 IDCEC CEU Credit
The challenges, applications, current research and education of Universal Design will be addressed by three practicing professionals
Moderator: Cynthia Leibrock
Panelists: Jonathan White, Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access

The Future of Universal Design Through the Eyes of the IDeA Center
Ryan Renshaw, Schenne and Associates and Villa Maria College.

Practice, Positives and Pitfalls of Implementation of Assessable Design in Commercial Spaces
Laura Wax, L2K Design

Universal Design and the Role of the Residential Designer

12:00p.m. Lunch – Villa Maria College Dining Hall


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1:00 p.m. Presentation

Presentation: A Home for Every Stage of Life
Professor Beth Tauke, University at Buffalo
1 Hour LU/HSW Credit AIA/CES Registered • 1.0 IDCEC CEU Credit

One of the roadblocks designers often face when discussing Universal Design is the challenge of shifting from “negative” perceptions to more life-affirming views. “Universal Design” is really about “Universal Living” and allows homes to be dynamic, flexible and fulfill a diverse set of needs across age groups.
The need for this shift is especially important in the kitchen and bath areas of the home. The first part of this presentation will incorporate real world problem/solution scenarios that explore how a well designed home can create comfortable spaces that function well for all.
The second part will address the cost, preferences, economic feasibility of universally designed features, and will feature preliminary findings from a study conducted by researchers at the IDeA Center from SUNY at Buffalo. This study took place in the LIFEhouse™, the 2012 NAHB 50+ Gold Award for Best UD Home by custom builder New American Homes Inc. Researchers asked potential buyers about exterior and interior UD features. The results of this study will help designers and builders to determine which UD features to invest in and, perhaps, include as standard components of home design. Understanding the positive effects of universal design on life quality and home design is critical for design professionals. UD is value added design, and will be expected by educated consumers in the next decade. Few studies have addressed the cost of UD. If home building industry professionals understood UD costs and consumer preferences, they could determine the specific UD investments that make both short and longer term economic sense.

2:00 p.m. Coffee – Poster presentations

IND 210 Design Studio The Millennium Dream House
Students redesigned a typical ‘luxury’ residence to reflect flexibility and adaptability over time using the principles of Universal Design and the criteria of Sustainable Design.

2:30 p.m. Presentation

Promoting Universal Design in Rural Settings: Challenges and Lessons Learned
Dr. Korydon Smith, University at Buffalo
1 Hour LU Credit AIA/CES Registered 0.1 IDCEC CEU Credit

Over the past two decades, universal design goals, concepts, and practices have grown tremendously throughout the United States and abroad. Rural areas, however, pose significant challenges to the dissemination and implementation of universal design. This session, therefore, discusses these challenges and provides paths forward, integrating research, case studies, and the past experiences of the author in working in rural settings. 3:30 p.m. Break 3:45 p.m. Presentation: Beyond Basic: Preparing Homes for Age-Related Changes Dr. Alex Bitterman, Alfred State College 1 Hour LU/HSW Credit AIA/CES Registered 0.1 IDCEC CEU Credit Homes are the single most significant financial investment that most people make. We spend years paying off the mortgage, decorating these spaces, and creating lasting memories within our homes. Despite these significant investments and emotional attachments, an overwhelming majority fail to adequately plan for growing older in their own home. This shortfall is unfortunate and unnecessary. Most home owners with only minimal planning are able to modify their home to accommodate changing physical and cognitive abilities that occur with age. Within the context of universal design, this presentation identifies ten of the most common changes that make homes more safe and livable for older homeowners.


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