The Principles of Universal Design

Bruce Hannah: This re-thinks the kitchen literally from the ground up — so many breakthroughs
in usability that it's mind-boggling. Adjustable counter tops, a built-in pasta
maker, and a breakfast area where you have all the stuff you need
in one place: toaster, coffee maker, counter, etc. The most revealing story
Project Director Jane Langmuir told about the kitchen design process was
when they invited various people to cook a pasta dinner in their own
kitchen, while being videotaped. When a retired Italian lady of short stature
cooked, she periodically went to a closet, pulled out a step stool
and used it to reach various pots, pans and other kitchen
utensils stored in her kitchen cabinets. After completing the meal, she and Jane
sat down to eat dinner and view the videotape. She was astonished at how
many times she went to fetch the step stool, each time returning it to the closet.
Lots of times we are unaware of what we do in order to use what appears to be
a nice kitchen. Sometimes we have to be shown what we do before we fully realize
how inaccessible the simple tools of daily life are. We are extremely adaptable,
creative beings and we use our adaptive skills every day without realizing there
might be an easier way. As Jane and the RISD design team gathered information
they were able to design a kitchen that is very accessible. The Mini Kitchen
is the one we all need and The Maxi Kitchen is the one we all want.

Related Links:
RISD: The Universal Kitchen