In the aftermath of Professor Emeritus Raymond Lifchez's passing (1932-2023), the Institute for Human Centered Design honors his remarkable legacy rooted in inclusive design principles.
For more than 50 years, Lifchez influenced countless lives through his teaching, advocacy for inclusive design and philanthropy. Recognized with prestigious awards, including the Distinguished Teaching Award, the Berkeley Citation, and the Fiat Lux Faculty Award, Lifchez's impact on the university and the world was profound.
Lifchez's revolutionary approach to design education began in 1969 when he created the course "Architecture 101: Designing for People with Disabilities." Ahead of its time, this course invited people with disabilities as advisors, emphasizing the principle, "Nothing about us without us."
His dedication to accessibility resonated in his publications, notably "Design for Independent Living" (1979) and "Rethinking Architecture" (1986). Lifchez actively participated in the Disability Rights Movement, contributing significantly to the implementation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and, subsequently, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
His philanthropy extended UC Berkeley's reach, funding programs, scholarships, and exhibitions. Resulting in the creation of the Lifchez Professor of Practice in Social Justice at UC Berkeley, an endowed professorship dedicated to advancing accessible and socially conscious architecture.
Lifchez's legacy serves as a beacon, guiding our mission toward a more inclusive and accessible future.