Spatial justice and creative co-design

Inclusive design concepts go beyond codes and standards. This requires new approaches using creative practices according to Janice Rieger’s new book. She presents creative co-design methods well beyond standard workshop techniques. For designers in any discipline these techniques shine a light on spatial justice and creative co-design methods.

The case studies centre on museums, malls, universities and galleries illustrate co-design methods applicable to other public places. The book exposes ableism in architecture and design and stimulates debate about current practice. Rieger challenges and expands our understanding of power in architecture and design that creates injustices.

Using a justice-based lens the case studies in each chapter have take-aways for creating inclusive, universally designed places and spaces. The language in this text is generally for professionals and scholars.

Perspectives of power leads the discussion followed by issues of ableism and how to design differently. Here Rieger uses her experiences of using short films and multisensory storytelling. Part 3 looks at constructing inclusive experiences followed by a look at spatial justice in the future.

The title of the book is, Design, Disability and Embodiment: Spatial Justice and Perspectives of Power. The book is available for purchase from the Routledge website with access to a preview and the table of contents.

From the Overview

This book explores the spatial and social injustices within our streets, malls, schools, and public institutions. Going for a walk, seeing an exhibition with a friend, and going to school are conditional for people with disability.

This book stimulates debate and discussion about current practice and studies in spatial design in the context of disability. Case studies of inclusive design in museums, malls, galleries and universities challenge and expose the perspectives of power and spatial injustices that still exist within these spaces today.

The international case studies purposely privilege the voices and perspectives of people with disabilities, to expose the multisensorial perspectives of spatial justice in order to understand inclusion more holistically through embodiment.

This book is for anyone in the design or arts who want a world where spatial justice is possible. It offers a new perspective of spatial design through critical disability studies, allyship and codesign, where tangible approaches and practices for inclusive design are explored.

From Rob Imrie’s review of the book

Highly regarded researcher and author Rob Imrie has written a review of Rieger’s book in Disability & Society. He writes of her challenge to the power of ableist architecture and the bias towards sight and seeing. Here are two pertinent extracts from Imrie’s review:

“For Rieger, echoing earlier work by Oliver (1992), about the need for emancipatory research, there can be no such thing as inclusive design based on data generated by conventional social relations of research, in which disabled people are objects of the process. Rather, what is needed is a transformation in the conduct of research, in which disabled people participate in a process of co-design. While the book describes a variety of co-design projects, I wonder if these are sufficient in tackling disablism and spatial injustice?”

“[Rieger’s observations] raise the question of how far design professionals are willing or able to cede control, and embrace a different set of relationships with their clients and users? More importantly, how will such changes transpire, given that much of the design of space is channelled through corporate development companies, in which architects have little influence?”

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