Snaidero Universal Design Kitchens

written by:
February 10, 2010

Universal design doesn't need to be ugly--and, more so, shouldn't be. Done well, it's undifferentiated design for the whole population, for disabled and nondisabled people alike, as Graham Pullin, the author of Design Meets Disability, says in Universal Design 101, which he penned for Dwell's March 2010 kitchen-themed issue. Eight years ago, Italian kitchen company Snaidero adapted this belief and set out to create an attractive kitchen collection called Skyline.

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  Italian kitchen company Snaidero set out in 2002 to create an attractive kitchen system that would meet the needs of individuals in wheelchairs. The result: the Skyline kitchen.
    Italian kitchen company Snaidero set out in 2002 to create an attractive kitchen system that would meet the needs of individuals in wheelchairs. The result: the Skyline kitchen.
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  Snaidero worked with Lucci Orlandini Design to create the kitchen collection, which the company later tested by installing a kitchen in the spinal unit at the Gervasutta Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine in Udine, Italy, for patients in wheelchairs participating in rehabilitative physical therapy to test out and give feedback.
    Snaidero worked with Lucci Orlandini Design to create the kitchen collection, which the company later tested by installing a kitchen in the spinal unit at the Gervasutta Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine in Udine, Italy, for patients in wheelchairs participating in rehabilitative physical therapy to test out and give feedback.
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  This drawing by Lucci Orlandini Design shows the countertop shelves, made of glass with built-in retainers so that items can be seen from underneath but don't fall off the edges.
    This drawing by Lucci Orlandini Design shows the countertop shelves, made of glass with built-in retainers so that items can be seen from underneath but don't fall off the edges.
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  Snaidero found that pull-out shelves make it easier for individuals in wheelchairs to reach items and that rounded edges (as opposed to square corners) increase the area that the person can access and use.
    Snaidero found that pull-out shelves make it easier for individuals in wheelchairs to reach items and that rounded edges (as opposed to square corners) increase the area that the person can access and use.
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  A sink with a shallow basin creates higher leg clearance so an individual in a wheelchair can use the sink without risking banging up their knees.
    A sink with a shallow basin creates higher leg clearance so an individual in a wheelchair can use the sink without risking banging up their knees.
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  Shown here is the kitchen installed at the Gervasutta Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine, where patients tested it design.
    Shown here is the kitchen installed at the Gervasutta Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine, where patients tested it design.
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  Though the Skyline kitchen was designed specifically for use by individuals in wheelchairs, the idea was to create a kitchen that can be used by everyone, highlighting the goal of universal design.
    Though the Skyline kitchen was designed specifically for use by individuals in wheelchairs, the idea was to create a kitchen that can be used by everyone, highlighting the goal of universal design.
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  For more about universal design, read "101 Universal Design" in our March 2010 kitchen-themed issue or view our "Universal Design: Public Restrooms" video.
    For more about universal design, read "101 Universal Design" in our March 2010 kitchen-themed issue or view our "Universal Design: Public Restrooms" video.

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