A pilot project wth Toronto Community Housing, 300 Dufferin consisted of a Universal Design assessment of an existing site. We used Universal Design Best Practices to assess it for compliance and propose renovations to make it compliant.
Our proposal had to prioritize the needs of the residents, management, and caretakers. The main client concerns were full accessibility, aesthetically pleasing, safe, sustainable, and cost-effective.
Our group consisted of an environmental designer (Bjorn), graphic designer (Symon), advertising student (Stephanie), and myself. We decided to address the wayfinding of the shared common areas of the site. As a group, we visited the site and assessed it against the Universal Design standards. We also documented the existing features. After identifying the issues, we decided to split the site in five groups. Early on the process, we realized that the placement of objects were key in its failing the assessment. Each person took the main responsibility for finding solutions for one category and provided assistance when necessary. The categories were:
1. Access, Entrance, Doors, Stairs, Elevators
2. Communications, Detectable Indicators, Signage
3. Curb ramps, crossings, islands, handrails, ramps, passenger drop-off
4. Security, fire safety, detectable hazards
I took over security, fire safety, detectable hazards, and benches. Once we sourced potential solutions, we all shared our findings with each other. We proceeded to design the proposed changes as a unit. I handled all the renderings. Stephanie managed the presentations. Symon and Bjorn assisted with the digital assets.