‘Doing Disability Differently’ in Glasgow

A4 coloured poster advertising Jos's talk, pinned to the door of the ladies toilet.

Just back from a very interesting session with first year architectural students at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA). For the very first project of the year, they were asked to use ergonomic drawing techniques to map an everyday activity, first as undertaken by a ‘normal’ body and then by a ‘disordinary’ body. Lovely to talk with students about how these analytical techniques help develop close observational and scale-mapping skills, but also to see them becoming aware of what ergonomics ignores. Through attempting to map disordinary bodies, students noticed how ergonomics is limited by its focus on the average; misses out our full range of sensory experiences; and makes bodily functioning appear ‘neutral’ and separate from our social attitudes and behaviours, rather than being completely entangled with them.

Also gave a public lecture to the whole school. So many thanks to Missing in Architecture for inviting me – three GSA tutors who are working together to open up what gets left ‘on the margins’ in architectural education and practice.

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