Doing Disability Differently: An alternative handbook on architecture, dis/ability and designing for everyday life

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Routledge, May 23, 2014 - Architecture - 234 pages
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This ground-breaking book aims to take a new and innovative view on how disability and architecture might be connected. Rather than putting disability at the end of the design process, centred mainly on compliance, it sees disability – and ability – as creative starting points for the whole design process. It asks the intriguing question: can working from dis/ability actually generate an alternative kind of architectural avant-garde?

To do this, Doing Disability Differently:

  • explores how thinking about dis/ability opens up to critical and creative investigation our everyday social attitudes and practices about people, objects and space
  • argues that design can help resist and transform underlying and unnoticed inequalities
  • introduces architects to the emerging and important field of disability studies and considers what different kinds of design thinking and doing this can enable
  • asks how designing for everyday life – in all its diversity – can be better embedded within contemporary architecture as a discipline
  • offers examples of what doing disability differently can mean for architectural theory, education and professional practice
  • aims to embed into architectural practice, attitudes and approaches that creatively and constructively refuse to perpetuate body 'norms' or the resulting inequalities in access to, and support from, built space.

Ultimately, this book suggests that re-addressing architecture and disability involves nothing less than re-thinking how to design for the everyday occupation of space more generally.


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why do disability differently?
Section I Starting from disability
Section II Reconnecting architecture with disability
Section III Doing architecture and disability differently
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About the author (2014)

Jos Boys is a Teaching Fellow in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences at the University of Northumbria. She brings together a background in architecture with a research interest in the relationships between space and its occupation, and an involvement in many disability related projects. She is co-founder of Architecture-InsideOut (AIO) which brings together disabled artists and architects in collaborative explorations of building and urban design.

The research for this book was initially funded by the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Design (CETLD), a partnership of the University of Brighton with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the Royal College of Art (RCA) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

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