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April 1, 2024

2024: Interior architecture and design program to host Universal Design Symposium

News 2024: Interior architecture and design program to host Universal Design Symposium

Interior architecture and design program to host Universal Design Symposium

April 5 event will focus on accessibility and universal design

UMass Dartmouth’s interior architecture and design (IAD) program, alongside committee members from the College of Visual & Performing Arts, the Ora M. DeJesus Gerontology Center, and the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, will host the Universal Design Symposium and Design-athon for the second time Friday, April 5 in the Claire T. Carney Library Grand Reading Room.

“Accessibility and universal design are important considerations for all disciplines,” says IAD Assistant Professor Stephanie McGoldrick. “We should include diverse voices in the design process, whether addressing spatial, graphic, technological, or engineering solutions. This event provides a platform for students and faculty to engage in this collaboration and heighten their sensitivity towards those who experience disabilities.”

The all-day event will focus on accessibility and universal design through talks by notable speakers, idea generation, and teamwork. Students, faculty, professionals, and community members with or without disabilities are encouraged to participate in the event. Teams will develop practical solutions to improve daily living for all and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, with prizes being awarded to the top ideas.

“Universal design is integrated into all facets of the IAD curriculum, starting with Studio 1 where students are exposed to the concept that we design for ALL,” says IAD Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, Rose Mary Botti-Salitsky. “We incorporate codes and compliance and are educating the next generation of socially responsible designers. Accessible design is critical to every design solution, creating inclusive spaces for all to enjoy.”

This year’s featured speakers include Dustin Giannelli, CEO and Founder of HearsDustin LLC, and Deepak KC, an architect, accessible design consultant, and disability rights advocate in Nepal.

The event will run from 8:30am to 7pm. View more information on the event’s agenda, speakers, and frequently asked questions.

About IAD at UMassD

The interior architecture and design program emphasizes socially responsible design throughout its curriculum and in service-learning projects that strive to make a difference in UMassD’s communities.

Last year, Botti-Salitsky’s Institutional Design course helped design a complete first-floor renovation to CO-OP headquarters, adding ADA and Universal-compliant designs to the nonprofit organization that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and brain injuries.

UMass Dartmouth’s interior architecture and design program is the only accredited IAD program at a public university in New England, and 100% of IAD majors in the classes of 2021 and 2022 had a full-time job within six months of graduating (NACE Undergraduate Recent Alumni Outcomes Survey).

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