A Universal Design Method for Reflecting Physical Characteristics of Diverse Users: A Case of a Bicycle Frame

M. Shimada, W. Suzuki, S. Yamada, M. Inoue


Research into universal design is necessitated by the adaptation to a worldwide aging society and need for companies to develop internationalization strategies. However, a general design approach for accommodating diverse users’ needs has still not emerged. The issue of how to address the physical characteristics of diverse users and needs in a design process is critical. In this study, a set-based universal design was proposed to obtain diverse design solution sets for users with diverse requirements. Both product attribute information such as the dimension of products and the physical characteristics of diverse users as design variables were defined. Furthermore, these design variables were defined as ranged values to accommodate diverse users. As a case study, the proposed method to the design problem of a bicycle frame was applied. This case study defined the height of users, each dimension of bicycle frames, and range of knee joint motion as design variables and constraint condition respectively. By applying the proposed universal design method, diverse bicycle frames including four different types of bicycle frames beyond conventional bicycle frame that satisfy all users were obtained. The suitability of the proposed design method for obtaining diverse ranged design solution sets that accommodate the variability in physical characteristics of diverse users was also discussed.

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