Reflections on the accomplishments of human factors research in Japan toward universal design implementation

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Yoshiaki GotoSatoshi KoseKen NunotaYukari Semmyou

Abstract: Experimental studies toward realization of universal design on residential space and various domestic appliances have been conducted for twenty years. Their research outcomes have been adopted for the compilation of dwelling design guidelines toward the aging society as well as the development of new products by the manufacturers, all of which contributed the realization of universal design of buildings. As one the government research bodies, the Building Research Institute of Japan was committed to the research for the betterment of people's living conditions, and Sekisui House, as one of the housing manufacturers also strived to provide with better house designs for the customers to enable transgenerational living (i.e., from cradle to grave, without being forced to throw out against their wishes). In the mid-1980s, when the cooperative research started, no concrete requirements on handrails better suited for Japanese population were clear. Therefore, research on the measurements of force applicable by seniors was started, which gradually led to the experimental determination of hardware shape, optimal height, etc. Graspable handrail shape and dimensions, shape of better stairways, grabrail for toilets, and kitchen leaning bars to support body posture: all of these were among the research accomplishments through experiments. Some of them were presented during the past AHFE Conferences. This paper will summarize the historical importance of these research outcomes, and will demonstrate their meaning in universal design implementation.

Keywords: universal design, trial, subject, elderly, experiment, requirement, building, architecture, house

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003338

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