Teaching for democracy in a holistic perspective

Tom Vavik

This presentation describes and reflects on how teaching the concept of Universal Design (UD) to design students has developed over the last decade at the Institute of Design at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). Four main changes are described.

Firstly, the curriculum has evolved from teaching UD guidelines and principles to focusing on an inclusive design process. Secondly, an increased emphasis is put on cognitive accessibility and multi-sensorial interactions. Thirdly, the teaching of UD has moved from second to the first-year curriculum. Fourthly, an increased focus is put on non-stigmatizing aesthetics expressions.

The presentation’s focus is on the basic values and principles for these changes and argue why they are necessary and important. Some future challenges are be presented at the end, asking the following questions:

  • Cultural sustainability – how to ensure cultural heritage, belonging and identity?
  • What about the marginalized and excluded groups of today?
Posted: Oct-2017

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