Tea Time Talk: Reflections on barrier-free environment and architectural design

April 10, 2024

On March 27, the Department of Architecture at XJTLU held a Tea Time Talk on the theme of barrier-free building and environment construction. Dr Linqing Li, president of Suzhou Barrier-Free Construction Promotion Association and head of Aotike Intelligent Technology Co., LTD., was invited to exchange ideas on the topic for teachers and students.

The theme of the tea party was “Inclusive Architectural Design”. Dr Li introduced some of the insufficiently disability-friendly architectural designs encountered in cities, as well as some of the problems existing in the environment, such as the inconvenience of people with disabilities in travel and self-care.

Dr Li then suggests some possible solutions based on his own experience. Among them, he mentioned some smart design such as the lifting column. “It only restricts the passage of non-motor vehicles such as electric vehicles but does not restrict the passage of wheelchairs, which greatly facilitates the travel of disabled people and makes their lives more convenient. At the same time, these smart designs also effectively enhance the social attention and attention to the disabled group,” he explained.

Among other things, Dr Li believes that barrier-free construction is also an important means to achieve social equity and inclusiveness.

“By providing convenient and barrier-free facilities for the disabled, the elderly and other groups, we can remove the obstacles to their participation in social life and sharing the fruits of reform and development, and promote their all-round development and social integration.

“This not only helps to improve the quality of life of these groups, but also helps to narrow the social gap and maintain social stability and harmony,” he said.

The event was co-organised by Dr Zhelun Zhu, Silvia Albano, and Lei Feng. Dr Zhu says that architectural education should foster an awareness of inclusive design during the student years. By understanding the needs of different groups of people for architecture, architects can design better buildings, achieve sustainable development goals, and create a more harmonious society.

By Yizhuo Liang

Edited by Yi Qian

Photos by Shuyang Xu

April 10, 2024