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Study Papers | Architecture & Planning | India | Volume 12 Issue 5, May 2023
Designing for Accessibility: Creating Inclusive Spaces in Architecture
Ar. Vikram Singh | Ar. Saurabh Saxena 
Abstract: This comprehensive study delves into the vital issue of designing for accessibility, focusing on the creation of inclusive spaces in architecture within the context of India. It begins by exploring the background of architectural design in India, considering the nation's rich history and its diverse, multifaceted cultural context. The article then presents an overview of the concept of accessibility in architecture, underlining its importance in accommodating India's diverse population, particularly given the demographics highlighted by the 2011 Census data. The necessity of inclusive spaces is underscored, considering India's ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the obligations it entails. This leads to an exploration of the principles of universal design and various architectural features that enhance accessibility, as well as the role of technology in promoting accessibility. Case studies of the Arushi Centre, the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH), and The Bhavan provide practical examples of successful implementation of accessible design. Each case study examines the background of the institution, the architectural features that enhance accessibility, and the impacts these have had on the community and individuals with disabilities. The article concludes by discussing the challenges and opportunities in promoting accessible design in India, with emphasis on potential solutions and the crucial roles of legislation, awareness, and technical expertise. It asserts that despite the complexities and challenges, the pursuit of universally accessible design is both a moral imperative and a legal obligation, which can ultimately benefit all members of society. Finally, it calls for a collective strive towards a vision of architecture that respects and celebrates diversity, promotes equality, and enhances the quality of life for everyone.
Keywords: Accessibility, Inclusive Spaces, Architecture, Universal Design, Disability Rights, UNCRPD (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), Community Impact, Legislation, Awareness, Quality of Life, Cultural Diversity
Edition: Volume 12 Issue 5, May 2023,
Pages: 1255 - 1271