Universal design is a philosophy of design of products, environments and systems. It seeks to support usability for the greatest number of people, including a wide spectrum of age groups and abilities. It is response to cultural diversity and current demographic shifts. Postwar baby boomers, the largest segment of today's consumer population, are beginning to anticipate and experience the effects of aging. Universally designed products and environments offer greater safety and increased comfort. They are easy to operate and flexible to meet the needs of different people.
We have amassed a collection of over 200 products through our two gallery installations of the Unlimited by Design exhibition and a traveling exhibit called "live | work | eat | play." This is a digital archive of these installations that provide access worldwide for scholars and educators. It also insures historical documentation of the products. This collection will continue to grow through the continuing activities of the IDEA Center.