Michael Walker

Design Matters to make well spaces

Presenter: Michael Walker, Principal Advisor Universal Design, Victorian Health & Human Services

Oral Presentation

The presentation will discuss and demonstrate the links to relevant human rights instruments; provides evidence for the problems the policy sets out to address. It will discuss biophilic approaches to design, the use of colour and MSE (multi – sensory environments) environments in the health space.

The presentation will showcase exemplars in aged care setting, Youth Prevention and Recovery centre, and Emergency departments. Using Universal design involves designing spaces that are functional for the full range of diversity, and for addressing the physical, sensory and cognitive needs of all of the community.  The presentation will demonstrate the use of Universal design principles which allows for flexibility and adaptability to meet the full range of additional needs of all people of today and of the future, as well as being responsive to ongoing innovations in the health sector.

The presentation will discuss and highlight case studies in which Universal design places human diversity at the heart of the design process so that buildings and environments are designed to meet the needs of all users. The objective of universal design is to ensure that all people can access, use and understand the environment to the greatest extent and in the most independent and natural manner possible, without the need for adaptations or specialised solutions.  The presentation will demonstrate the commitment to achieving design outcomes:

  • Body fit – accommodating a wide a range of body sizes and abilities.
  • Comfort – keeping demands within desirable limits of strength and stamina.
  • Awareness – insuring that critical information for use is easily perceived.
  • Understanding – making methods of operation and use intuitive, clear and unambiguous.
  • Social integration – treating all groups with dignity and respect.
  • Personalization – incorporating opportunities for choice and the expression of individual preferences.
  • Cultural appropriateness – respecting and reinforcing positive cultural values.

Case studies include; Emergency departments and Autism, Aged care and mental health. Aged care design and Youth Prevention and recovery centre. Alcohol and other Drug Residential rehabilitation facility.