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Designing for All: Universal Design Principles in Sugatsune’s Hardware

The concept of Universal Design has become very important in architecture and interior design. At Sugatsune, we integrate Universal Design principles into our hardware design philosophy. But what does that mean, and what is the value that this adds to the end-users, architects, and designers who use our products? On this page you can learn about:

  • Universal Design in architecture and interior design.
  • How we utilize Universal Design principles in our products.
  • How Universal Design serves social quality-of-life goals like independent living and aging in place.

Read Our Universal Design Pamphlet to Get the Whole Story

Aside from watching our webinar on Sugatsune’s use of Universal Design principles in our hardware, be sure to download Designing for All, a short e-book that discusses Universal Design and how it helps with aging in place and other needs.

Designing for All sheds light on many of the specific innovations and technologies in Sugatsune’s products while also shining a spotlight on the human angle that motivates our work. When it comes to design goals like making environments safer for children, accommodating people with disabilities, and helping people age in place, Universal Design is a humane and empowering guidepost for architectural and interior design.

There’s also a deeply practical consideration: Universal Design principles, and Sugatsune hardware, can help you with mandatory legal compliance with accessibility and safety standards.


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Sugatsune Hardware
Provides Convenience & Satisfaction For All

At Sugatsune, our core mission is to provide convenience and satisfaction to ALL of the
people who use our products.

This has been our mission ever since our founding in Japan almost a century ago. Even before the “Universal Design” movement got its name in the 1965, and long before Universal Design achieved its Current prominence in the design industry, Sugatsune was committed to the most important Universal Design principles: that everyone should be able to use our products safely and conveniently regardless of:

  • Ability or disability status
  • Height
  • Strength and fitness level
  • Weight
  • Age

For a much more in-depth look at Sugatsune’s approach to Universal Design in architecture and hardware, please watch our “Universal Design and Accessibility with Sugatsune” webinar.

The 7 Key Universal Design Principles

Happy older mature family having breakfast

When it comes to upholding Universal Design in architecture, hardware products need to meet these seven benchmarks:

  • Equitable Use: Virtually everyone should be able to use it.
  • Flexibility of Use: Hardware should be forgiving in the way it works instead of requiring absolute precision to operate correctly.
  • Simplicity and Intuitiveness of Use: Hardware should not require advanced language skills, concentration, or manual skill mastery to use properly. Its appropriate use should be obvious.
  • Perceptible Information: All relevant information about the hardware’s use should be readily apparent.
  • Tolerance for Error: Misuse or accidental collision should not result in injury or damage.
  • Low Physical Effort: Hardware should not require strength or stamina to operate, nor should it pose a challenge for people based on their height or weight. This is one of the most important Universal Design principles.
  • Size and Space for Approach: There should be enough room to reach and operate the hardware. If space is limited, the hardware itself needs to be designed to accommodate this.

Meet Some of the Sugatsune Technologies that Support Universal Design & Accessibility

The specific Sugatsune innovations that power our approach to Universal Design in architectural hardware range from the very elaborate to the very humble. Whether it’s a complete door opening system or simply a well-made hinge, we strive to reflect all of the seven key Universal Design principles. Here are a few examples.

Clean, Simple Designs that Work with the User

We pride ourselves on clean, simple design in our hardware, with maximum durability, minimal protuberances and sharp corners, and an ergonomic sensibility that anticipates human movements. This is crucial for accessibility and for helping to support children, workers, the disabled, and people who are aging in place.

Minimal Exertion, Minimal Strength & Agility Requirements

One of the most important ways of upholding Universal Design principles is to ensure that our hardware can help facilitate the operation of cabinets, doors, and equipment by people of all sizes and abilities with minimal fatigue and exertion.

For example, our lift-assist and soft-close hardware for functions like counters and top-lift doors help minimize lifting hazards for people performing daily tasks.

Happy older mature family having breakfast

Find Hardware to Meet Universal Design Best Practices

Sugatsune’s experience with designing hardware that provides convenience and satisfaction to people started way back in 1930, and we are proud to be involved with the Universal Design aspect in architecture. We continue to strive to help architects, designers, contractors, and those who are renovating residential and commercial spaces to live up to the spirit of Universal Design. Whether it’s making indoor environments safer for children or healthier for workers, or helping the elderly or disabled to continue independently aging in place, our hardware will help you meet those goals.

Contact us to learn more about our Universal Design offerings to fit with your project, and be sure to download our ebooklet, Designing for All.

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