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The theme of Main Conference

Universal Design and Sustainable Development

Sub Themes

  1. Universal Design for Industrial Promotion

    In Japan, UD know-how has become entrenched to some degree centering on large corporations, and going forward, as part of comprehensive economic support that includes transferring knowledge to overseas and cooperating with human resource development, a focus will be placed on promoting industry and creating employment, not only in manufacturing industries, but also a variety of industries, such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries and service industries.

  2. Universal Design for Regional Planning

    Accessibility will be developed in urban infrastructure and city living, and responses to accidents during emergencies, such as fires and power outages, will be reviewed from a UD perspective.

  3. Universal Design for Aged Society

    It is estimated that the proportion of older people aged 65 or above in the Kingdom of Thailand was 10.58% in 2017, and will exceed 14% in 2022. It is expected that Japan, as the most aged country in the world, where the proportion of older people aged 65+ is above 27%, can share many accomplishments and lessons with ASEAN member states where rapid aging is projected, through UD technology transfers and mutual personnel exchanges.

  4. Universal Design for Tourism

    The Kingdom of Thailand accepts the largest number of tourists in Southeast Asia. Further improvements of tourist’ facilities in Thailand based on the concept of UD may attract more tourists and contribute to the development of tourism industries and the economic development of whole Thailand. We hope the lessons and advanced examples accumulated in Japan will be shared in this conference, so that Japan and ASEAN member states can build mutually beneficial relationship.


December 28, 2018

The International Association for Universal Design (IAUD: Patron, Her Imperial Highness Princess Yohko of Mikasa) will hold the 7th International Conference for Universal Design in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2019.

Universal Design (UD) is the creation of designs for equipment, buildings, and the immediate living environment that can be used by as many people as possible irrespective of age, gender, race, culture, customs, nationality, or ability.

In November 2002, Japan’s first International Conference for Universal Design was held in Yokohama City. After this, the conference was held in Kyoto in 2006, Hamamatsu in 2010, Fukuoka in 2012, the two cities of Tokyo and Fukushima in 2014, and Nagoya in 2016, and as such, it has entirely been held in Japan thus far. Nevertheless, the location will be moved to outside of Japan for the upcoming seventh conference, and the event will take place in the Kingdom of Thailand, which has deep historical ties with Japan.

The Kingdom of Thailand is one of the founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which was established based on the “Bangkok Declaration” in 1967 and has served as a driving force in the economic development of this region. The population of the 10 ASEAN member countries has already surpassed 600 million, which is higher than the population of the European Union (EU) (500 million), and there is also a high rate of population growth, so economic growth is expected in the future.

As for the status of barrier-free/universal design in Thailand, completely accessible environments have been realized in some parts of the country. For example, all stations of subway lines in Bangkok are equipped with elevators, escalators, and wheelchair-accessible toilets, which have been built with loans from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Nevertheless, public facilities, road environments, and so on around the stations are still undeveloped, and thus there is a significant need for cooperation in technology transfers and human resource development between Thailand and Japan, that is an advanced country in universal design.

For the upcoming seventh conference, the theme will be set as “Sustainable Development on Universal Design (tentative)” in line with the “Sustainable Development Goals” that the United Nations has set forth for achievement by 2030. Voluntary and sustained actions will be promoted based on lively dialogues and interactions between participants from within Thailand and overseas, and this will include promoting industry and creating employment in Thailand through investment by many Japanese corporations in the automobile and other industries of Thailand. At the same time, the realization of a high-quality universal design society in the ASEAN region will be aimed for, taking into consideration regional development, the medical nursing care business, and development of the tourism industry.

We sincerely ask for your understanding in our objectives and we look forward to the widespread support and cooperation from many people of various positions and backgrounds in our endeavors. We look forward to your active participation in this conference.

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