University of Tokyo - Department of Architecture

Matsuda Laboratory

Removing physical barriers to create an inclusive society
Research Theme

In this laboratory, we conduct research on how environments can reflect the needs of “minorities”. Today’s society in Japan is undergoing dramatic changes, symbolized by the rapid aging of the population and the declining birthrate. In these changes, those who have not been considered sufficiently in the past, such as people with disabilities, the elderlies, and people who have difficulties in their lives for some reason, have become important. We aim to clarify these diversifying user images, redefine the requirements for the environment, and clarify the architectural plans required for various facilities and cities.

Residential environment for people with disabilities

We conduct questionnaire surveys, interview surveys, and observation surveys of “facilities for persons with disabilities” and “group homes for persons with disabilities” where people with intellectual, mental, and physical disabilities live to clarify the characteristics and architectural needs of the residents.

Left: Meal scene at Yajirobe, a group home for the persons with disabilities, Right: Exterior view of Mutobe Suikoen, a support facility for persons with disabilities

Local safety net

We research the roles and issues of local safety nets. The targets are “residential support corporations” that support people who need assistance in living, such as the elderly, low-income earners, and people with disabilities, and “nursing homes for the elderly” that support people with complex difficulties, such as living in poverty, disabilities, and dementia.

Left: Role of residential support corporation, Right: Common area of a nursing home for the elderly

Universal design

We study how spaces can meet various users’ needs, such as the required spaces for outing and rest for people with visual impairment, methods of environmental improvement for students with disabilities on university campuses, and accessibility of sports facilities.

Left: Marking out tactile tiles in front of the UTokyo Red Gate, Right: After laying tactile tiles in front of the University of Tokyo Red Gate


For more detail: Matsuda Laboratory
Principal Investigator: Yuji Matsuda