Universal Design

About this collection

Universal design principles prioritize accessibility for people regardless of age and ability in product and environment creation. The origin of these concepts can be traced to the rehabilitation engineering and assistive technologies that were developed during and after World War II to meet the needs of veterans with disabilities. This online collection explores the industrial design careers of two pioneers of universal design, Thomas Lamb (1896-1988) and Marc Harrison (1936-1998), and features approximately 500 documents and images digitized in conjunction with a web exhibit on the subject.

    To learn more about Hagley Library collections associated with universal design, view the following finding aids and collection descriptions: Thomas Lamb papers, Marc Harrison papers, Marc Harrison photograph collection.
    Image: Coffee pot with Wedge-Lock handle designed by Thomas Lamb. Click to view.

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Marilyn Hennessy to Marc Harrison
Letter concerning the standing wheelchair and the possibility of receiving a grant from the National Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children and Adults.
Earl H. Cunerd to Marc Harrison
Letter indicating the interest of the United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc. in the Rhode Island School of Design projects for the handicapped.
Edmond J. Leonard to Marc Harrison
Letter concerning the housing project at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Sneak previewing kitchen of the 21st century
Universal Kitchen article from the Boston Globe (Aug. 9, 1995)
Universal Kitchen letter to Mary J. Reid of Kohler Co.
Draft of a letter requesting support for the Universal Kitchen project.
A New Look in Blood Collection
American National Red Cross Blood Program Information Series
Barbara Luchsinger to Marc Harrison
Letter answering questions about supplies for blood donation collection.
Memo from Aaron [?] to Marc Harrison
Letter containing newspaper clipping about compact stackable plastic chaise lounges.
Kenneth Altorfer to Marc Harrison
Letter containing a summary of a discussion held concerning the future of the housing project for the International Lead Zinc Research Organization.
Bombing & Torpedo Section to Safety Cockpit Unit
Letter concerning the possibility of adapting Lamb's hand grips to joysticks in aircraft cockpits.
Blanche Talmud to Thomas Lamb
Letter thanking Lamb for presenting the Lamb Wedge-Lock Handle at the recent conference of the New York Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Sidney G. Roth to Thomas Lamb
Letter thanking Lamb for giving a presentation to the class in Industrial Design at New York University.