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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Photograph Exhibition Announcement featuring an image of a man playing multiple harmonicas
On cover: 'Ordinary Moments: Expressions of the Disabled Experience; An Exhibition of Photographs by Alan J. Brightman; The John F. Kennedy Library, September 28 to October 25'
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)
Susan Yelavich to Marc Harrison
Letter thanking Harrison for his help in developing a concept for an exhibition on universal design.
Ann S. Hudner to Marc Harrison and Jane Langmuir
Letter containing notes from a meeting on the communication needs for Universal Kitchen.
Universal Kitchen letter to Mary J. Reid of Kohler Co.
Draft of a letter requesting support for the Universal Kitchen project.
Dov Glucksman to Glenn Doherty et al.
Letter to obtain models of the evaporative humidifier for the January Housewares show.
Dov Glucksman to Richard Katzman et al.
Outlines development plans for an Evaporative Humidifier from Appliance Development Corp.
Dov Glucksman to Marc Harrison
Letter concerning the design of an Evaporative Humidifier.
Dov Glucksman to Pat Magrath and Marc Harrison
Invoice draft for Harrison's work on each stage of the evaporative humidifier project.
Bert J. Lewen to Lawrence Katzman
Letter concerning the patent application for the evaporative humidifier. Also contains handwritten memo from Lawrence Katzman to Marc Harrison at end of typed letter.