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A collaboration between deaf and disabled artists and interior architecture students

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Why deaf and disabled artists?

As disabled artists and users, we are forced to constantly evaluate form and function and engage creatively with practical problems around negotiating space. This emotional and physical engagement with space allows for a much broader debate around how we as people relate to architecture and space.
Artist’s blog entry April 8 2007 10.47am
While the work of the artists does address considerations of inclusive design, what it also challenges and encourages is a philosophical and creative engagement with multifunctional and often transgressive use of space.
Artist’s blog entry April 8 2007 10.47am

Listening to deaf and disabled people

It was very important for the students to listen to deaf and disabled people narratives of their own experiences, rather than make assumptions about what they experience or want from building design. The artists’ group was diverse; in some cases deafness or disability was central to their creative production, in others it informed the work but did not generate it, in others it was considered an insignificant factor.

I just really felt them as artists first: that they were consumed with their art and professionalism rather than their disability. Disability was just a part of it.
Student feedback 11th May 2007
It (was) important to know and see and experience disabled artists as people with families, partners, connections and lives not only defined by their disability.
Student feedback 11th May 2007

Undermining stereotypical assumptions

The presence of such a range of artists immediately undermined the stereotypes which separate out disabled and non-disabled people as easily definable and non-overlapping categories; and which can only see different deaf and disabled people as their disability.

That they, well disabled people, are often on the outside and have barriers put up – they are not the problem.
Student feedback 11th May 2007
Everyone has got their problems or issues, not just disabled people.
Student feedback 11th May 2007
I think disabled people are still quite outcast really certainly in the design field, they are on the periphery and are controlled by stereotypes of themselves…
Student feedback 11th May 2007   Next: What We Did

Architecture Inside Out

This project is now linked to the Architecture-InsideOut project, set up by deaf and disabled artists in the SE region to develop creative engagements with architecture.

Visit Architecture-InsideOut

Artist participants in Discursive Spaces

Many thanks to the artists who participated in Making Discursive Spaces: Caroline Cardus, Noemi Lakmaier, Rachel Gadsden, Zoe Partington-Sollinger, Sarah Pickthall, Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq, Miles Thomas, Damian Toal and David Dixon.

Arts Council England University of Brighton, Interior Architecture and Design

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