Contributed by:
Janet Spees
Assoc. AIA

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Critique: Inclusive Housing: A Pattern Book

Accessible design is viewed with a positive connotation in the design community, but is not always put into practice in the residential housing market for a variety of reasons.

Inclusive Housing: A Pattern Book (W.W. Norton & Company) dispels many of the pre-conceived apprehensions regarding accessible design in residential housing by demonstrating its value to not only an aging population, but to all readers.

The implementation of inclusive design in housing is explained with a building block approach: the block, the lot, and the house. The book states, “The house must fit on the lot, the lot must fit in the block, and the block must fit within the character of the neighborhood.” This simple approach is demonstrated with a multitude of convincing case study examples from the author, the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access. 

Ultimately, the book presents an inclusive design strategy in an easy-to-understand and thorough way, as it moves from a macro to a micro level. 


Reviewed by Janet Spees, Assoc. AIA with Merriman Anderson Architects.