“Design for All” Manual: From Users’ Needs to Inclusive Design Strategies

  • Erica Isa Mosca
  • Jasmien Herssens
  • Andrea RebecchiEmail author
  • Hubert Froyen
  • Stefano Capolongo
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


Design for All (DfA) has been considered as a fundamental and innovative strategy to design inclusive spaces for a diversity of people’s needs and wishes. However, there is still a gap between theory and practice in this discipline. Therefore, tools that support designers to implement DfA through a descriptive approach in architectural practice are necessary.

The paper discusses the research development of a manual to inspire architects in the application of DfA strategy. The manual’s development is based on four main criteria for knowledge transfer, defined by a precedent literature review: communicate, organize, understand and use.

The outcome of the research is the definition and design for a DfA Manual on Public Spaces in terms of haptic experiences. The manual strives to transfer knowledge through a descriptive and performance based approach. For this reason, over design indications, the manual aims also to include an extensive description of users’ needs, references to case studies and laws on accessibility, which inspire architects and support them to find the proper design solution within their own project. In the manual sample developed, design indications focus on haptic design, which studies the perception of the built environment through the body, referring to the sense of touch.

Thus, the manual’s purpose is to create a DfA awareness for many architects, designers and decision makers in their activities. Therefore, starting from the basic application of prescriptive laws, the manual should be used as a support tool during the design process to design inclusive spaces for all users.


Design for All Design indications Descriptive approach Knowledge transfer Architecture 



This research was supported by Politecnico di Milano and Hasselt University. The authors are grateful to Hasselt University, which provided the opportunity for conducting part of the research with the Belgian scientific community.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Hasselt UniversityHasseltBelgium

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