Edward Steinfeld

SUNY Distinquished Professor
Director, IDEA Center
Co-Director of RERC on Universal Design and the Built Environment
Co-Director of RERC on Accessible Public Transportation
Department of Architecture


Edward Steinfeld.


Edward Steinfeld

225A Hayes Hall

(716) 829-5899




Dr. Steinfeld holds a doctorate degree in architecture from the University of Michigan and a professional degree in architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.

Edward Steinfeld, ArchD, AIA is a registered architect and gerontologist with special interests in universal design, accessibility, and design for the lifespan. At the School of Architecture and Planning he is a professor of architecture and director of the IDeA Center, which he founded in 1984. Dr. Steinfeld has directed over 30 sponsored research projects, including two centers of excellence grants from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), one on Universal Design and the Built Environment (RERC-UD) and the other on Accessible Public Transportation (RERC-APT). He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Universal Design Commission, Inc. He has over 100 publications and 3 patents. Many of his publications are considered key references in the fields of accessible and universal design; he was a co-author of the seven Principles of Universal Design, Inclusive Housing: A Pattern Book (W.W. Norton), and Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments (Wiley). He is internationally known for his research and has travelled widely to lecture in many countries.

In 2003 he received a Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and has also received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA), and Progressive Architecture. He received a Ron Mace, Designing for the 21st Century Award and in 2010 he was awarded the University at Buffalo's second annual Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence. In 2012 he was awarded the rank of Distinguished SUNY Professor, the highest rank for faculty in the SUNY system. He is a frequent consultant to federal and state agencies, building owners, and attorneys. He has been a licensed architect in New York since 1978 and designed several constructed buildings, including interiors for retail, office and religious buildings, two multifamily housing projects, a group home, a vacation home and home renovations and additions.  

His current work includes projects on anthropometry of disability, development of universal design standards, design of a new demonstration bus and development of new wayfinding systems for buildings. Dr. Steinfeld is a member of RESNA, HFES, and the AIA.