It is possible for products to be accessible without strictly adhering to AS1428.2 dimensions.
For instance, the AS1428.2 states the seat height, including backrest, should not exceed 790mm. However, Street Furniture Australia’s inhouse testing shows that higher backrests can provide more support.
It is also important to consider the specific user groups for each site. For example, a wheelchair-friendly table may be too high for children to reach. Or, an AS1428.2 drinking fountain could be too low for an elderly person to bend down to use.
In developing inclusive products, Street Furniture Australia generally refers to three key sources: AS1428.2, inhouse ergonomic testing and universal design principles.
The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design’s Building For Everyone Series is also a useful guide on how to design, build and manage buildings and spaces.
A Note About Comfort
It is worthwhile noting that DDA products are not always comfortable for the general population.
A typical example is the DDA seat. While an upright seat backrest greatly assists elderly users with getting up and sitting down safely, the seat profile will not be suitable for most people to relax on for long periods of time.
The best DDA products provide both comfort and accessibility. When this is not possible, you could also choose to install a range of products to cater for the various user types in the space.
Seats should be installed at regular intervals along paths. An ageing population requires enough seats to break a journey into manageable walking distances, and protected positions that feel safe for sitting.
“A good rule of thumb for a good city is that suitable places to sit should be located at regular intervals, for example, every 100 metres,” says Jan Gehl in ‘Life Between Buildings’.
AS1428.2 recommends providing opportunities to rest every 60m.
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Street Furniture Australia is donating $40,000 worth of furniture from breakout spaces from the 2022 Festival of Landscape Architecture: COUNTRY to The Murri School, an Aboriginal and Islander Independent Community School in Brisbane. The collection of Linea Seats, Cubes, Curved Benches, Sun Lounges and Picnic Settings includes a pair painted by artist Casey Coolwell-Fisher, a Quandamooka, Nunukul woman of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island, Queensland) – commissioned by Street Furniture Australia and Blaklash Creative. Director of Blaklash Creative and member of the Festival Creative Directorate Troy Casey says, “A huge part of the festival was about how we can ensure that community gets something from it. We spent two days sharing our culture, our experiences, and the responsibility to positive impact. We can’t really do that without giving back to mob, …
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Street Furniture Australia has helped two young architects from CM+ with the design and build of colourful, immersive artworks for Sydney’s annual festival of light, music and ideas. The 23-day festival attracted 2.25 million visitors in 2018, with similar numbers expected for 2019. Vivid Light, a series of sound and light installations, comes to life after dark throughout the city. An enveloping snowflake storm, Let It Snow by Jing Li, and an interactive musical tree, Harmony by Rod Tan, opened to acclaim on Friday May 24 and are set to delight audiences till June 15, 2019. Angus Easthope, industrial designer with Street Furniture Australia and project lead for the Vivid build, shares insights into the design and installation of more than 1.5 tonnes of aluminium and steel for the two …
Outdoor spaces support many important aspects of school life – providing places to play, learn, meet, make friends, socialise over lunch, share stories or sit quietly. Bringing the classroom outdoors is a growing trend in Australian education, with an increasing body of evidence to support its benefits for learning, social skills and health. Sir Ken Robinson, author of the most-watched TED Talk of all time, says, “We learn much more from the world around us and each other than we do from necessarily sitting indoors at desks. “What really drives education is curiosity, trying to fill gaps in our understanding. And the world around us is a tremendous resource to stimulate that curiosity.” He gives five reasons to teach outside, namely: Nature is a powerful resource. Children can learn through …