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Inclusive design isn't about sympathy . . .

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Letters

Oh dear, Mr Maguire is terribly confused, isn't he (aj 15.1.98)? I hope he is not a practising architect, but he seems unwittingly to have stumbled on to the whole point of inclusive design nevertheless. He says that considering the needs of a 'small minority' infringes 'the rights and liberties of the majority and produces unforeseen and highly undesirable consequences'. Yet previously it has dawned on him that the 'average man' of the design guides is in a small minority himself, if he exists at all. Exactly the reason for attempting to design buildings for everyone, or at least extend the common denominator away from the mythical 'average'.

Being 6'5' Mr Maguire admits he is also not an average ergonome, but if he is discomforted by buildings as a result 'that's life'! That's not life, Mr Maguire, that's unconsidered design, the sort that plays with arbitrary changes in level for 'spatial and design reasons', whatever they are.

'Sympathy' and 'political correctness' have nothing to do with the push for inclusive design. He should read Selwyn Goldsmith's new book; not only will it open his eyes but he will see that the most apt description one could ascribe to it is 'reasonable'.

LOUIS HELLMAN

London W3

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