Undergraduate Students Present Universal Design Project at International Conference

Friday, May 2 2014

Undergraduate interior design students Amber Eisenbraun, Alena Horowitz, and Vanessa Kaminski will be presenting their Universal Design advocacy and outreach project “How Does the House Hinder? It’s Greek. It’s Community. It’s Building with Change” at the Environmental Design Research Association International conference, EDRA45.

The conference takes place end of May 2014 in New Orleans, La. The work was developed as a service-learning class project that aimed to address gaps between knowledge and behavior through culture change, advocacy, and design.

The three students' membership in the Greek system and their own observations and interests coupled with hands-on realization of the value of design in promoting just, equitable, safe and meaningful places for all prompted their project focus.

Following necessary approvals, they engaged systematic reviews, interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, house assessments, stakeholders engagement, analysis, and proposal for access and inclusion.

Supported by a great response rate from the Greek System and the university, they rated all the Greek houses on campus, and articulated means of promoting inclusive and universally designed environments for each of the houses. The main lesson they share is that access and inclusion are critical for any community, and that many more buildings have potential to be readily accessible than people think. 

For full conference program, please see www.edra.org