12–18 November 2018

Selwyn Goldsmith

Selwyn Goldsmith(Philip) Selwyn Goldsmith (1932–2011) was a leading architect with a focus on access for all.

He completed his diploma in architecture in 1956 and after this, while travelling in Italy, he contracted polio which disabled the right side of his body and made his legs unsteady. He began working as an architect in 1957.

In 1961 he was commissioned to produce architectural guidance for access to buildings. Published in 1963, it was called Designing for the Disabled, and had a number of follow-up editions published. In 2000, he published his last book, Universal Design.

Undertaking this work meant he ensured accessibility to buildings for everyone. He devised the ramped kerb which is now common around the world. He also highlighted the issues with queuing for women’s toilets. He worked with the Department for the Environment and produced reports highlighting accessibility issues which became the standards for public sector housing.

He died in 2011 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.

Source: Oxford dictionary of National Biography, Telegraph obituary and Guardian obituary.