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.