How do disabled architects design?

(c) Chris Downey

(c) Chris Downey

Inclusive design and co-design practices emerging in several design disciplines demonstrate the need for new ways of understanding and practising design. Both attempt to restore the feedback loop between processes of design and practices of use that got interrupted since the industrial revolution. This restoring remains limited, however: even if users are involved in design, designers cannot gain direct access to their experience. In this context, the project aims to explore and articulate the potential of embodying user experience in architectural design. To this end, it focuses on disability experience as a particular kind of user experience, offering a unique lens to gain in-depth insight into how design and use interrelate. By documenting and analysing disabled architects’ design practices and outcomes, the project will make important contributions to design research and practice: it will challenge prevailing notions of design and the role of user experience therein, and it will invite and enable architects to reco nsider this role as enhancing rather than detracting from design quality.