Competence Network

The term ›Universal Design‹ refers to the designing of products and environments that are usable to the greatest extent by all people, without the need for adaptation or special design. In 2007, the IDZ established a competence network that was aimed at supporting this approach and facilitating experience exchange. Activities included consulting services, the creation of a database of best practice examples, as well as a touring exhibition with an accompanying publication. The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Economics within the scope of the initiative ›Seniority, an economic factor‹.

The IDZ further developed the concept of Universal Design through a series of research projects, conferences and workshops undertaken in cooperation with partners in science, including the University of Applied Sciences Berlin, where the Kompetenzfeld Universal Design Thinking was founded in 2010.

Exhibition: Universal Design – Designing our Future

The touring exhibition »Universal Design: Designing our Future« presented over 50 everyday products that are characterised by ›intergenerational‹ design. The aim of the exhibition was to illustrate that good design should confront not only the latest technological developments but also changes in the social context. This consideration combines the demands of the markets with the needs of consumers. The touring exhibition was opened at the IDZ in November 2008 and visited a number of different locations up to 2011.


The touring exhibition was accompanied by a publication that presented the individual exhibits and delved into the topic of Universal Design, with contributions from Peter Glaser, Oliver Herwig, Pete Kercher, Wolfgang Preiser, Ursula Lehr, Karin Schmidt-Ruhland, Peter Neumann and Markus Rebstock.

The publication can be downloaded at:
Universal Design: Designing our future (pdf | 5,5 MB)


Ingrid Krauss
T +49 (0)30 61 62 321-0
F +49 (0)30 61 62 321-19

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