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UDI History

The Institute was founded in 1997 as a non-profit organization, Housing Works, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to promote accessible and context-based community housing for people with disabilities. In 2008 the name was changed to The Ronald L. Mace Universal Design Institute to reflect an expanded mission that now includes a focus on the built environment in its entirety, and most particularly, to include universal design as its primary guiding principle.

The Institute's staff has a wealth of expertise in universal design and accessibility codes and standards with an emphasis on human function, architecture, and planning. The Institute has developed technical and policy documents and a wide range of graphic and multimedia materials to explain technical specifications in context of the environment. The Institute has a history of collaborative, multidisciplinary work: research, plan review; development of new plans, survey instruments, photo documentaries, product designs, state agency policies, demonstration houses, educational programs, and contributing to federal and state legislation.



FAIA 1941-1998

Ronald L. Mace was a nationally and internationally recognized architect, product designer, and educator whose design philosophy provided a design foundation for a more usable world. He coined the term "universal design" to describe the concept of designing products and the built environment to serve the needs of people regardless of their age, ability, or status in life.

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