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A collaboration between deaf and disabled artists and interior architecture students

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This website explores some new ways of thinking about, and responding to, architecture and accessibility. It tries to capture some interesting ‘discursive spaces’ around disability and building design, based on a creative collaboration between deaf and disabled artists and interior architecture students from the School of Architecture and Design, University of Brighton during May 2007.

It really put a rocket up my ar*e and I think that was important – it got me going. It should really extend to everyone, everyone should have this opportunity.
Student feedback 11th May 2007

What is this site about?

Making Discursive Spaces wants to know why the diverse experiences of deaf and disabled people remain so invisible in architectural education and practice. We ask why accessibility is still seen as simultaneously worthy and boring? And we want to know why the principle of universal access is still treated as merely an add-on to ‘normal’ architecture, rather than a valuable and exciting creative challenge.

Discursive - “lengthy and including extra material that is not essential to what is being written or spoken about.”
Dictionary definition

Working with deaf and disabled artists has opened up new ways - new discursive spaces - to imagine accessibility.

Here, we want to show that disability is a powerfully disruptive means of re-thinking not only how to design more accessible spaces but also aspects of architectural education itself.

I felt my space, because disabled artists have helped me put me in my space…
Student feedback 11th May 2007

Who is this site for?

This site is aimed mainly at architects and related practitioners, architecture and interiors students, and their teachers; with the intention of informing, challenging and maybe even changing some of the ways disability is thought about.

I, a non-disabled person, am the main narrator for this site. I want to take this opportunity to talk mainly to other non-disabled people, particularly within architectural education; because we also have to take some responsibility for helping to remove the attitudinal and physical barriers placed in front of deaf and disabled people.

Jos Boys

How is this site organised?

Making Discursive Spaces is more about asking questions than providing solutions. It therefore incorporates different voices through quotations throughout, allowing some contradictory statements and differences to show.

Download this site as a PDF

This website was written as an evaluation of the project.

Download the discursive spaces evaluation report
Arts Council England University of Brighton, Interior Architecture and Design

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