Cyborgs, robotics, bodily augmentation, technological innovations in prosthetics, digital technologies and responsive materials can all suggest seductive, gorgeous and novel forms of engagement with embodiment. But disability studies scholars persistently ask – what kinds of bodies are assumed here, and which technologies are noticed, which ignored? How might we better critically and creatively interrogate the complex intersections of technology, disability and ability by taking notice not just of imaginary futures but also of everyday tinkering and making do; of the social, cultural and political contexts in which different technologies come into being and use?
- Sara Hendren – The Abler
See also Sara’s Portfolio here.
- Also, watch her EYEO (2015) talk.
- Vivian Sobchack (2006) “A leg to stand on: prosthetics, metaphor and materiality”. In The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future. Cambridge, MIT Press. Download PDF here.
- Amanda Cachia (2015) “The Narrative Prosthesis Re-Fitted. Finding New Support for Embodied and Imagined Differences in Contemporary Art” Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 9:3. Read article here.
- Robert Adams “Making a Scene: A Vivid Genealogy of the Asclepius Machine”, in Scapegoat: Architecture, Landscape, Political Economy: 04 Currency. Download PDF here.
- Kim Kullman (2016) “Prototyping bodies: a post-phenomenology of wearable simulations” Design Studies 47 73-90. Read article here.
- Amanda Cachia (2013) Cripping Cyberspace: A Contemporary Virtual Art Exhibition Curated by Amanda Cachia Canadian Journal of Disability Studies Vol 2 No 4. Read article here.
Accessible toilets are of central importance in enabling disabled people to take an equal place in the public realm. Whilst there is much guidance already available, the resources here focus on moving beyond functional prescriptions, to a wider engagement with what kinds of bodies are designed for, how these are sorted in space, and how we might think about toilets from a political and social as well as functional perspective.
- Around the Toilet (UK AHRC Connected Communities funded project)
- Stalled! creating safe, sustainable and inclusive public restrooms (USA)
- Tanya Titchkosky (2008) “To Pee or Not to Pee” Canadian Journal of Sociology 33(1) Download PDF here.
- David Serlin (2010) “ Pissing without Pity: Disability, Gender and the Public Toilet”*
Reprinted from Harvey Molotch and Laura Norén (eds) (2010) Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing New York University Press. Also reprinted in Jos Boys (ed) (2017) Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader Routledge. Download PDF here.
- Olga Gershenson and Barbara Penner (2009) “Introduction: the private life of conveniences” in Ladies and Gents: Public Toilets and Gender Temple University Press. Download PDF here.
- Joel Sanders and Susan Stryker (2016) “Stalled: Gender-Neutral Public Bathrooms” South Atlantic Quarterly 115: 4. Download PDF here.
What is Normal?
Starting from difference is a vital means of investigating what is ‘normal’ in both the design of material space and the ‘shape ‘of conventional architectural and built environment disciplines. By critically engaging with notions of the norm (as a body, as a form of knowledge, as a ‘common sense’ attitude, approach or process) we open up unexpected critical and creative opportunities for rethinking and redoing architecture as a more equitable practice.
- Leopold Lambert (2012) “Architectural Theories: A Subversive Approach to the Ideal Normalised Body.” Read the article here.
- Leopold Lambert and Minh-Ha. T. Pham (2015) ‘Spinoza in a T-shirt’. Read the article here.
- Tobin Siebers (2008) “Disability and the Theory of Complex Embodiment: For Identity Politics in a New Register” Chapter 21 in Disability Theory University of Michigan Press. Download PDF here.
- The New Standard – Where do Standards come from? Architectural Association lectures online (5th May 2017). View the YouTube movie here.
- Lennard J Davis (1995) “Constructing Normalcy: The Bell Curve, the Novel and the Invention of the Disabled Body in the Nineteenth Century” in Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness and the Body Verso. Download PDF here.
- David Serlin Bodies “Bodies” (2019) n Don Romesburg (Ed) The Routledge History of Queer America Routledge. Download PDF here.
- “Who’s Able-bodied Anyway?” (2018) The New York Times. Read article here.
- Jos Boys (2014) Introduction to Doing Disability Differently: an alternative handbook on architecture dis/ability and designing for everyday life. Download PDF here: Jos Boys_Doing Disability Differently–intro.
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