BUFFALO, N.Y. – Edward H. Steinfeld, SUNY Distinguished
Professor at the University at Buffalo’s School of
Architecture and Planning, will receive one of his field’s
most significant honors: the James Haecker Award for Distinguished
Leadership in Architectural Research.
Presented by the Architectural Research Centers Consortium
(ARCC), the award recognizes individuals who have “made
outstanding contributions to the growth of the research culture of
architecture and related fields.”
A pioneer and leading scholar in the field of inclusive design,
Steinfeld’s research centers on designing products and built
environments that are more accessible, safe and friendly for all
people, including those who are often marginalized.
His research on design for disability is the foundation for
accessibility codes and regulations in the U.S., including the
Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. That work
is widely cited by other researchers and helped establish UB as a
leader in rehabilitation research.
“When we think of the most impactful architectural
research of the past 40 years, Edward Steinfeld's research and
influence on inclusive design has been unquestionably
profound,” ARCC President Keith Diaz Moore said. “Our
built environment today is more equitable and empowering to a more
diverse population due to his work and its impact on policy,
advocacy and design.
“We as an organization could not be more pleased to
recognize Dr. Steinfeld's clear leadership and distinction in our
discipline with this year's James Haecker Award.”
Robert G. Shibley, dean of UB’s School of Architecture and
Planning, praised Steinfeld’s work and the effect it has had
upon the world.
“Ed’s research, teaching and critical practice at UB
over the past 30 years has fundamentally established the field of
universal design as an academic discipline and profession,”
he said. “Through the IDeA Center, he’s put UB and its
School of Architecture and Planning on the map as leading public
“Most importantly, his work has brought a sensibility to
architecture and its related disciplines that changes the way we
design buildings, environments and products and, ultimately,
improves the quality of life for those of all abilities, ages and
Steinfeld, ArchD, AIA, joined the UB faculty in 1978. Six years
later founded the IDeA Center (the Center for Inclusive Design and
Environmental Access) which is dedicated to increasing the adoption
of inclusive design practices.
Under Steinfeld’s guidance, the center has become an
internationally renowned, multidisciplinary research initiative
that includes six other UB faculty members and a staff of seven
full-time researchers and professionals.
It is one of the most successful and long-lived research
programs in architecture and environmental design in the U.S. In
addition to sponsored research, the center offers services to the
Western New York community, New York State and corporate
Steinfeld is the principal investigator for the Rehabilitation
Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Universal Design and the
Built Environment. The center has received funding from the
National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research for
three, five-year cycles, making it the largest funded research and
design program on universal design in the world.
The center works to produce an improved evidence base for
universal design, develop new research tools, innovative products
and voluntary standards, and disseminate educational resources on
universal design to an international audience.
Steinfeld also is an influential writer. He is one of the
authors of the seminal Principles of Universal Design, a framework
for designing beautiful and functional environments for all people,
regardless of age, gender, ability or change in ability. The
principles have been translated into many languages and are
instrumental in defining the concept throughout the world.
His more than 100 publications include “Universal Design:
Creating Inclusive Environments” and "Inclusive Housing: A
Pattern Book: Design for Diversity and Equality.” Steinfeld
also has received many awards and honors.
Created in 1976, the ARCC is international association committed
to the expansion of research culture and supporting infrastructure
in architecture and related design disciplines.
The Haecker award is named for James Haecker, founding secretary
of the ARCC.
Steinfeld is the third architect with UB ties to receive the
honor. Previous winners are Shibley and John Eberhard, the founding
dean of UB’s School of Architecture and Planning.