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"Universal Design"- Does it Exist?

"Universal Design"- Does it Exist?
September 9, 2014 SNH Editorial Team

Look at the images of three different walkways – designed and man-made walkways showing three different patterns.  Can you guess where each is located? US, Europe or China…?

Given the fact we live in a global marketplace; one that brings people from different continents, backgrounds and races ever closer together  – are there differences in the physical spaces we design and/or desire to live in?

Here is another one of my personal experiences that tells me when design is right people from  different nationality respond….check this out.

Are there differences in design? Or, are the fundamentals the same ? Are  there universal truths in design?

Can you guess where each is located – USA / Europe / China?

Walkways are among the most fundamental design expressions.  As long as there have been buildings, there have been plazas and walkway around them using available, durable materials like stone.

Generations of designers and builders used building materials to create patterns to make their paths and plazas interesting and to guide your experience of their centerpieces – a church, temple, palace.

They mixed small and large materials and created varieties of organic and more structured patterns.  Can you tell where these are?


(1) On the Left:      A plaza with detailed edging in China

(2) Top Right:        A path at a private home in Germany

(3) Bottom Right:  A path in China combining designed with structured and organic  stone

Did you get it right?  I hope you found this quiz of interest.  Perhaps it has much larger implications.  What do you think?

walkway design