Norwegian Research Laboratory for Universal Design

About the research laboratory

Universal design

The Norwegian Research Laboratory for Universal Design is a unique laboratory for experimental studies on the relationship between humans and the built environment. The number of full-time permanent staff at the laboratory is 5 scientific researchers – whereas, the total of 42 faculty members work with issues related to universal design at NTNU in Gjøvik.

The research spans over the following areas:

  • Medical and health care
  • Psychology (especially perceptual psychology)
  • Children with acquired brain injuries (cooperation with e.g. Statped, i.e. a national service for special needs education)
  • Social Sciences
  • Economy
  • ICT (Information and communications technology)
  • Smart Home Technology
  • GIS / GPS / IPS
  • Building Technology
  • BIM (Building Information Modelling)
  • Architecture / Industrial design / UCD (User-centered design)
  • Web-design, signs and displays
  • Security (access controls)
  • Game development related to physical and cognitive training
  • Film and Video Technology
  • Online Education

Ongoing projects

  • Nersveen, J. Universal design and impaired vision (Dr. philos study)
  • Nersveen, J. Research on visual conditions on self-service ticket machines, large information screens and orientation signs at NSB and Jernbaneverket (mandatory funds from NBF)
  • Nersveen, J. and Olsen H.P. Research on space requirements for wheelchair and walker-use when ascending corridors and doors in buildings with requirements for universal design (mandatory funds from DiBK)
  • Refsvik, K.A. and Nersveen, J. Development of methodology on simulation of eye and hearing disease on films
  • Refsvik, K.A. and Nersveen, J. Film production of education situations in ground schools for schools child with visual and hearing impairment
  • Nersveen, J. Research on Handrail highs in ramps, slippery in ramps for availability for wheel chair and walker users (mandatory funds from DiBK)
  • Nersveen, J. Method description for carrying out laboratory tests with people with different disabilities (mandatory funds from DiBK)
  • Hardeberg, J.Y. Development of simulator of eye disease (mandatory funds from NBF)
  • Nersveen, J. Johansen, E.A. Large scale research on readability of printed text for people with visual impairment

Donors and Sponsors

The following donors and sponsors have contributed to the establishment of the Norwegian Research Laboratory for Universal Design throughout the years. Please note that they have no influence on neither research methodology nor the results itself.

Public donors:

  • Husbanken
  • NAV Hjelpemiddelsentral Oppland
  • Oppland fylke
  • Hedmark fylke


  • YIT AS
  • Kinnarps AS
  • Glamox Luxo Lighting AS
  • Montér AS
  • Toten bygg og anlegg AS
  • Tess AS
  • Topro AS
  • AV Design AS
  • Betonmast AS
  • Hunndalen Mur & Flis AS
  • Gudbrandsdal steinindustri AS


Our vision

«We aim to develop future products and services, buildings, indoor and outdoor environments – based on the different user groups’ needs and extensive series of tests amongst other things.»