Projects: BE Going Places

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BE Going Places
The BE Going Places project is an ongoing development with Danna Walker of Built By Us . Danna brings her mentoring knowledge and skills to also support disabled architectural students, educators and practitioners. As with disabled people everywhere, those who are studying or work in the architecture and built environment disciplines have to daily navigate ‘normal’ attitudes to impairment, that are likely to adversely affect their opportunities. Disabled people are more likely to drop out of education, may be sidelined to ‘access’ roles, and often feel obliged to hide their impairment or choose to downplay it. The end result is that only 1% of architects disclose as disabled (when disabled people make up at least 10% of the population.) We believe that until there are more disabled people working across the built environment as creative producers and managers, access and inclusion will continue to be marginalised in building and urban design.

Danna and I put our case at a recent RSA Engage event in London, called Design for Social Impact; and had lots of interest. We are now aiming to run a prototype programme combining:
• mentoring and work experience for a small number of disabled architectural students;
• access and inclusion support for architectural practices, through training by disabled artists, towards obtaining ‘Disability Confident’ certification;
• training architectural staff in becoming mentors
• developing student networks for disabled people studying architecture
To trial this through an initial iteration, we are partnering with HTA architects, and with Westminster School of Architecture. If you would like to know more and/or get involved, please get in touch by emailing BEgoingplaces@gmail.com

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