Universal design in restaurants - barriers and potentials

Student thesis: Master programme thesis

  • Anne Faurskov Hutcheson
4. Semester, Master of Inclusive Architecture (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
This master’s thesis identifies the barriers to and potentials for improving inclusion of persons with functional variation in restaurants.
The study focuses on restaurants in the centre of Copenhagen.
Barriers and potentials were identified through interviews with relevant stakeholders from branch organisations, restaurants, user organisations and designers. Furthermore, a case study of two areas in Copenhagen was conducted.
The collected data were analysed using two different approaches: 1) The perspective of an inherent and legal right to participation; and 2) Foucault's' theory of heterotopias.
The main findings of the study are: Many people with functional variation experience barriers when using restaurants in the centre of Copenhagen. The main difficulties are in accessing the premises and lack of toilet facilities. Also lack of proper light and acoustic conditions present a problem to many users.
The interviewed restaurant managers were very positive to change. But the sector in general faces difficulties, due to low overheads and lack of knowledge about the need of users with functional variation.
As most restaurants in the area are located in historic buildings, the legal requirements from buildings regulations do not exert a pressure for change.
A universal design user-oriented approach could benefit the sector, as it would allow restaurants to identify different solutions for users with different functional ability.
Publication date8 Jun 2023
Number of pages55
ID: 533710509