Post Universal Design

Mapping the Terrain

Who is the world designed for? Is there space for coalition politics in design?   It seems that design for inclusiveness is in the midst of a paradigm shift, but the expansion of design for disability has been so rapid and multifaceted that it is raising unsettling new questions—and answers for the larger field. The expansion of our understanding of ability as well as a rapidly changing technological landscape are moving us beyond Universal Design, the term often given to design for disability, and into an entirely new discussion. These currents rise from deep scholarship, practice-based, interrogative design and also a new recognition of the creativity that disabled people themselves can bring to the design process.   As the outlines of a post-Universal Design practice are emerging, this article attempts to map this new terrain.