An ontology-based universal design knowledge support system
An effective and efficient knowledge support system is crucial for universal design process, as it has become a major design issue in the last decade with the growth of the elderly population and disabled people. There are a limited number of CAD investigations on the nature of knowledge processing that supports the cognitive activities of universal design process. Therefore, this paper proposes an ontology-based computer-assisted universal design (CAUD) plug-in tool that supports designers in developing satisfactory universal design solutions in the conceptual design phase. The required knowledge processing and representation of the developed tool is motivated by the ontological language. It is based on the multiple divergence-convergence cognitive strategies and cognitive needs of designers in the analysis/synthesis/evaluation operations. The CAUD plug-in tool is the first attempt to interface the universal design knowledge ontologically and respond to the requirements of conceptual design phase. According to the user acceptance study, the tool is assessed as useful, understandable, efficient, supportive and satisfactory.