Disability as a design disruptor (at the V&A)

Text reading: 2. Dis/ability is a powerful critique of ‘what is normal’. 2a. Start from disability to challenge everyday social, material and spatial practices where these act to enable some whilst disabling others 2b. Start from disability to investigate how architectural and built environment education and practice perpetuates particular patterns of inclusions & exclusions, and find creative and critical ways to change these towards transformative social, material and spatial justice.

Really great event at the V&A last Friday. Called Disruptive Design: Disability Driving Architectural Innovation it brought together architects and designers who work in inventive and creative ways around dis/ability. Such an interesting group of people (both speakers and participants) – all  talking about and doing disability differently in many diverse ways across architectural, urban and product design education and practice.

The image above is from my introductory keynote; arguing, as many other speakers did, that disability is 1.) a vital creative generator and that  – as illustrated – 2.) it is a powerful critique of ‘what is normal.’

This event was in support of the V&A’s current History of Place exhibition in the Architecture Gallery, co-curated with Accentuate and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Many thanks to Olivia and Whitney V&A curators, and Esther from Accentuate.