Title: Beyond prevailing ways of understanding and designing space
Authors: Heylighen, Ann
Issue Date: 2014
Conference: Inclusive Design Research International Symposium location:Shanghai date:16-18 April, 2014
Abstract: Across the board, architects tend to associate disability with accessibility norms, which they experience as limiting their design freedom and as taking away the challenges of the designer to come up with intelligent solutions. This presentation will report on a collection of studies that turn this association upside down by acknowledging that, because of their specific interaction with space, disabled people are able to appreciate spatial qualities that architects—or other designers—are not always attuned to. This holds for people living with sensory impairments such as blindness or low vision, but also for people experiencing space from an atypical position, or people living with particular mental conditions like autism or dementia. The perspective of these people, the presentation will demonstrate, may invite architects and other designers to understand and design space in novel ways. This demonstration will draw on a series of empirical material collected in studying how people living with diverse abilities and conditions experience and interact with space. Accepting the invitation to acknowledge their perspective forces us to rethink not only prevailing ways of understanding and designing space, but also of understanding design.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Architecture and Design (+)

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