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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/13922

Title: Conservation meets inclusion, Model meets reality
Authors: Heylighen Ann
Neyt, Ellemieke
Baumers, Stijn
Herssens, Jasmien
Vermeersch, Peter-Willem
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Citation: Clarkson, P. John; Langdon, Patrick; Robinson, Peter (Ed.). Proceedings of the 5th Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology Cambridge, p. 209-218
Abstract: People living with certain disabilities are able to appreciate spatial qualities or detect obstacles that most architects are not always aware of. Therefore our research explores how the design process in architecture can be enriched by establishing a dialogue between architects/designers and people living with a disability. The paper reports on an attempt to extend this [theoretical] line of thought underlying our research to [the reality of] our daily work environment: the development of a master plan for a protected historic building on our university campus accommodating the student services. Since the student services need to be reachable by all students and the building is not integrally accessible, the question arises: is it possible to ensure that all students can independently reach, enter, interpret and use it? To address this complex matter in a systematic way, a framework is adopted that reconciles conservation and inclusion policy. One element in the framework is the involvement of people living with different disabilities. Their visits to the building reveal elements that architects may easily overlook or are rather unexpected: their perspective shows that making the building integrally accessible involves much more than overcoming differences in levels and cobblestones, and indicates directions to do so. Major issues identified can be largely addressed without touching the historic fabric of the building. These insights become highly influential in the formulation of the concept plan that is currently being negotiated. Awaiting its completion, implementation and evaluation, the reactions of the people involved so far strongly suggest that establishing a dialogue, however embryonic, between architects/designers and people living with a disability is experienced as highly valuable by both sides.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/13922
ISSN: 0963-5432
Category: C1
Type: Proceedings Paper
Validation: vabb, 2015
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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