Edward Steinfeld (BArch'68) To Receive UB Presidential Award For Faculty Excellence-School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

Friday, March 19, 2010

Edward Steinfeld (BArch'68) To Receive UB Presidential Award For Faculty Excellence

Architect is the pioneering founder of one of the most successful research programs in the U.S.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Edward H. Steinfeld, ArchD., AIA, of Amherst, an award-winning professor of architecture in the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and an international pioneer in the field of inclusive design and environmental access, will receive the university’s second annual Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence from UB President John B. Simpson at 5 p.m. March 25 in 146 Diefendorf Hall, UB South Campus.

The Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence was established to honor UB faculty members who have compiled distinguished records of teaching, mentorship, research and public service.

The award ceremony and a presentation by Steinfeld of his work will be followed at 5:45 p.m. by a reception and open house in the IDEA Center, 378 Hayes Hall.  Both events are free and open to the public. For more information about the event and to rsvp, please visit https://www.ubevents.org/event/steinfeld.

Steinfeld’s research into accessible environments began in the 1970s and became the basis for accessibility codes and regulations in the U.S., including the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. This work continues to be cited throughout the world and has been a model for many other researchers.

Steinfeld joined the UB faculty in 1978 and six years later founded the UB IDEA Center – the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access. He led its development into an internationally renowned multi-disciplinary research center that remains one of the most successful and long-lived research programs in architecture and environmental design in the U.S. 

The disability rights movement and changing demographic trends are driving a transformation in our built environment to support a more inclusive society. The IDEA Center, which receives more than $1.2 million in grants and contracts a year, is dedicated to making environments and products more usable, safer and healthier in response to the needs of an increasingly diverse population. Steinfeld, and the IDEA Center, are contributing significantly to changes in design related policy and design practices.

Steinfeld also is the principal investigator for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Universal Design and the Built Environment, the largest funded research and design program on universal design in the world.  This RERC is a collaborative research group comprising the IDEA Center, the Ontario Rehabilitation Technology Consortium and representatives from the design and disability communities nationwide. Its aim is 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 and his son Aaron Steinfeld, PhD., a systems scientist at the Carnegie-Mellon University Robotics Institute, co-directs a related grant, the RERC on Accessible Public Transportation. This program aims to develop an evidence base on human factors related to boarding and disembarking from vehicles, develop new standards for vehicle (including transit vehicle) design and produce new technologies for obtaining and using information on transit systems. 

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.
Seinfeld’s more than 100 publications include Enabling Environments (Springer, 1999), which he co-edited with Gary Scott Danford, associate professor of architecture at UB, and “Inclusive Housing: A Pattern Book: Design for Diversity and Equality,” to be published by W.W. Norton & Co. in May.

He also is the lead author of a new textbook on universal design being produced by the IDEA Center, scheduled for publication this year by Wiley, and is completing work on a chapter of the World Rehabilitation Report, commissioned by the World Health Organization.
Steinfeld serves on the Board of the Global Universal Design Commission, a not-for-profit organization for which he is leading the development of standards for a certification program for universal design. He is in great demand as a lecturer at universities and conferences in the U.S. and abroad, has designed many constructed buildings and interiors, and has had an active consulting career with clients that include federal government agencies, architectural firms and attorneys.
In recognition of his contribution to the field of architectural design, Steinfeld has received many awards including a Research Award from Progressive Architecture, a Design Research Recognition Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.
He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Western New York Independent Living Center and currently serves on the advisory board of the Center for Disability Studies in the UB College of Arts and Sciences and on the advisory panel of the Vice President for Research at UB.

Steinfeld's son Aaron Steinfeld, Ph.D., is a systems scientist at CMU Robotics Institute. 

Aaron Steinfeld is the principal investigator of the RERC on Accessible Public Transportation and co-directs the grant with Edward Steinfeld.

Additionally, Ellen Steinfeld, wife of Edward and the mother of Aaron is a 1967 graduate from the School of Fine Arts-Painting/Design-see website below.  

Ellen's father, Cecil J. Bier was also an alumni of CMU in the 40's (metallurgical engineering).

Announcement [.pdf]