Building Access — University of Minnesota PressThe book opens with a micro-travel log from four sites that employ various interpretations of Universal Design: the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre in Vancouver, with a ceremonial ramp winding around an oblong atrium; the Institute for Human Centered Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Don't already have an Oxford Academic account?
Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction
Commonly understood in terms of curb cuts, automatic doors, Braille signs, and flexible kitchens, Universal Design purported to create a built environment for everyone, not only the average citizen. But who counts as "everyone," Aimi Hamraie asks, and how can designers know? Blending technoscience studies and design history with critical disability, race, and feminist theories, Building Access interrogates the historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts for these questions, offering a groundbreaking critical history of Universal Design. Hamraie reveals that the twentieth-century shift from "design for the average" to "design for all" took place through liberal political, economic, and scientific structures concerned with defining the disabled user and designing in its name. Tracing the co-evolution of accessible design for disabled veterans, a radical disability maker movement, disability rights law, and strategies for diversifying the architecture profession, Hamraie shows that Universal Design was not just an approach to creating new products or spaces, but also a sustained, understated activist movement challenging dominant understandings of disability in architecture, medicine, and society. Illustrated with a wealth of rare archival materials, Building Access brings together scientific, social, and political histories in what is not only the pioneering critical account of Universal Design but also a deep engagement with the politics of knowing, making, and belonging in twentieth-century United States. Aimi Hamraie.
Skip to content. Skip to navigation. Coming soon. Rich with archival images, the first critical history of the Universal Design movement. Building Access investigates twentieth-century strategies for designing the world with disability in mind. Illustrated with a wealth of rare archival materials, this book brings together scientific, social, and political histories in what is not only the pioneering critical account of Universal Design but also a deep engagement with the politics of knowing, making, and belonging in twentieth-century United States. Building Access is a seminal text that will be received with acclaim and become well-known for its reconstruction of how we think about access, disability, and design.
From the earliest formations of a disability rights movement in the 20 th -century West, design played a part, from the demand for greater accessibility to the invention and re-invention of graphic symbols to represent disability in public. There have been fairly few scholarly assessments of design and designers within Disability History and Disability Studies, however.
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