The concept of universal design is built upon the fundamental value that all people should be able to participate equally in social activities and society’s institutions. Thus, the core value in universal design parallels the pledge of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: Leave No One Behind, (LNOB) (UNSDG, 2022). Universal design is intended as an epoch-making means to fulfil the ambitious goal of developing and disseminating designs for all types of solutions to enable all people, in all their diversity, to access and participate in all conceivable and desirable social activities. Desirable social activ - ities occur in all sectors and types of social arenas in everyday life, such as education, work, culture and civil society. Universal design is a means of realising the possibility for each person to flourish individually and socially in communities at local, national and global levels. Universal design, as a concrete means, consists of designing and constructing buildings, infrastructure, products, surroundings, schemes and services etc. so that they can be used by all people with - out the need for later, individual or local adaptation or specially designed assistive devices, as formulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by Denmark in 2009 (Danish Institute for Human Rights 2021). Intuitively, the idea of universal design may sound simple and straightforward: designing the world’s material and social solutions so that everyone within a wide range of individual and social con texts can use them, regardless of disabilities. That may also sometimes be the case, but the frequent failure in actual product or building development to adopt universal design elements show that it is challenging to put the concept into practice. With this anthology, we invite you to join the interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration to find ways to transfer the concept of universal design into practice. This will require, among other things, partnerships based on holistic understanding and knowledge of human diversity in individual and social contexts when developing social and physical solutions. Therefore, there is a need for diverse types of knowledge and cross-disciplinary collaboration in the development of universal design. Developing and disseminating universal design requires collaboration across disciplines and sectors, users and producers, decisionmakers, organisational and funding structures and re - search traditions. All these aspects of universal design need to be explored and knowledge developed to generate engagement and action to make universal design a reality and realise the global goal of Leave No One Behind. This anthology aims to help stimulate this cross-disciplinary and diverse evolution and dissemination of universal design. The an - thology serves as an invitation to interdisciplinary collaboration to develop the concept and practice of universal design and stimulate the sharing of experience and knowledge.
- Anne Kathrine Frandsen (ed.)Inge Storgaard Bonfils (ed.)Leif Olsen (ed.)
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