Why Be Normal?: Disability & Design Now, Aimi Hamraie, δημοσίευση στο Art in America [17/10/2022]Marilena Pateraki
What is design? Is it a professional pursuit, confined to specialties such as product design, graphic design, user-experience design, or architectural design? Or should we think of it more broadly, as a way to understand and transform our physical surroundings, as an act of world-building and world-changing? In either view, design happens when attention is paid to how things are used, how they look, and how they change some aspect of human experience.
And each approach carries a different political meaning. The strictest definitions—those focused on professional design—tend to obscure the contributions of marginalized designers, especially those engaged with disability. Disabled people often lack access to design training, and at the same time, professional designers often neglect the access needs of disabled people, routinely assuming standard users. Meanwhile, design school curricula regularly fail to address disability issues.
Where disability and design meet, however, the distinctions between professional design and design-as-world-building begin to unravel. Disability-inclusive designs typically aim to help disabled people adapt to existing environments, allowing people whose bodies or minds diverge from the norm to fit into the prevailing expectations of Western, capitalist societies. Plenty of tools might be designed to enable someone to show up at work at regular times, to produce in the same ways as nondisabled peers, and to sense the surrounding environment in conventional ways (such as by hearing or seeing). The words “disability” and “design” are most often paired in contexts where the desired outcome is a functional product—an assistive technology (such as a cane or wheelchair) or an architectural feature (such as a wheelchair ramp). In many cases, the types of accessibility that laws mandate relate to making a person a better worker and employee: George H.W. Bush signed such legislation into law in large part to help disabled people find employment, so as to keep them off welfare.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.