The Dis/Ordinary Architecture Project

The Dis/Ordinary Architecture Project explores how disability and accessibility can be done 'differently' within architecture, interiors and related design practices. Instead of treating disabled people as a mainly a ‘technical' problem, to be added-on at the end of the design process,  we  show how starting from disability – from the rich differences that biodiversity and neuro-divergence bring –  can be a vitally important creative critical resource. We argue that designing with diverse bodies opens up important questions about 'what is normal',  providing insights about how social and spatial inequalities are perpetauated through the design of built space, and offering valuable opportunities for change. Our mission is:

 

to promote activity that develops and captures models of new practice for the built environment, led by the creativity and experiences of disabled and Deaf artists.

 We do this by:

 

  •  enabling  creative and constructive collaborations between disabled artists, architects, educators and related agencies
  • capturing, publishing and debating this work, so as to continually inform current and future practices
  • developing the capacity of disabled artists to use their creativity to influence the design of built spaces for better access and inclusion
  • developing opportunities for design practitioners, educators and students to bring creative and inventive understandings of disability to their work.

 

 The Dis/Ordinary Architecture Project builds on existing and developing informal networks of talented disabled artists, as well as interested architectural and built environment educators and professionals and related experts. We work with design practices and networks, architecture, interiors and built environment schools and museums and galleries. We can offer talks, workshops, design charrettes, training events and collaborative projects.

 

 If you would like to get involved you can email me here 

 

Case Study 3: Manchester School of Architecture (March-April 17)

As part of Arts Council funding for a project entitled Disabled Artists Making Dis/Ordinary Spaces, we have produced a set of three videos. Artists and educators co-partnered to prototype innovative and creative projects for teaching disability and inclusion. At  Manchester School of Architecture artist Zoe Partington worked with tutors Stefan White and Helen Ashton. They explored how to embed disability and inclusion related issues at different stages in an ongoing project for fourth year MArch students on the design of age-friendly homes. 

VIEW THE VIDEO

Go to Zoe Partington's website here

Case Study 2: Westminster University (March 17)

As part of Arts Council funding for a project entitled Disabled Artists Making Dis/Ordinary Spaces, we have produced a set of three videos. Artists and educators co-partnered to prototype innovative and creative projects for teaching disability and inclusion. At  Westminster University, artist Liz Crow (Roaring Girl Productions) worked with tutor Julia Dwyer and final year undergraduate students from the Interior Architecture course. This was a one day experiential workshop called TILTED HORIZONS, that explored how we might think differently about the interactions between society, bodies and space.

VIEW THE VIDEO

Go to Liz Crow's website here

Case Study 1: CASS School, London Metropolitan University (Feb-March 17)

As part of Arts Council funding for a project entitled Disabled Artists Making Dis/Ordinary Spaces, we have produced a set of three videos. Artists and educators co-partnered to prototype innovative and creative projects for teaching disability and inclusion. At the CASS school, London Metropolitan University, artist Joe Young (art of noises) worked with tutor Chi Roberts and Foundation students on a four-week option project, called SOUNDMARKS, investigating soundscapes in the city. 

VIEW THE VIDEO

Go to Joseph Young's website here

Bringing together disabled artists & architectural educators for creative collaborations

The Arts Council funded Disabled Artists Making Dis/Ordinary Spaces project - undertaken January to June 2017 – brings together disabled artists with architectural students, educators and professionals, to develop new ways of working together around the design of built space. This involves co-creating prototype activities in three UK universities. It explores how to increase the capacity of, and opportunities for, established and emerging disabled artists to work in various roles across built environment related education and practice; and to act as innovative influencers on the design of built space. Finally, the project will capture and evaluate these activities so as to inform next stage developments.

Do the activities, read the books!

The work of Architecture Inside Out, as well as related projects, is captured in the publication "Doing Disability Differently: Architecture, Dis/ability and Designing for Everyday Life " (Routledge 2014). This publication explains why it is important to stop treating disability as a 'technical', non-historical and atheoretical subject in architecture. It shows how we can take a very different perspective, by critically and creatively engaging with disability as a concept, and disabled people as a diverse and complex constitutency, 

A second book offers some of the best contemparary writing and projects in this area, most completely unknown within architecture and the built environment. This is called Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader. (Routledge 2017)       

Not forgetting Architecture Inside Out (AIO)

The Dis/Ordinary Architecture Project has grown out of many previous disability-led creative projects.  Architecture-InsideOut (AIO) – which ran until 2009  - also explored how to generate constructive and creative dialogue between disabled and Deaf artists and architects and related professionals. This centred around two high-profile events - one enabling artists and architects to co-make installation and performance work in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, and the other an experimental workshop at the Lightbox in Woking. This work ran in parallel with two other ACE-funded projects bringing together disabled artists and others in collaboration with built environment educators and students: Making Discursive Spaces and A Sense of Place!, both hosted at the University of Brighton.