CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

PDF papers
id cf2011_p047
authors Vermeersch, Peter-Willem; Nijs Greg, Heylighen Ann
year 2011
title Mediating Objects in Architectural Design: a Non-Visual Exploration
source Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures 2011 [Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures / ISBN 9782874561429] Liege (Belgium) 4-8 July 2011, pp. 721-734.
summary Through their daily interactions with the built environment, people with disabilities become able to appreciate spatial qualities or detect obstacles that architects may not be attuned to. This observation motivated us to explore scenarios for involving people with sensory disabilities as experts in the design process. An architecture office participating in a real-world design competition is teamed up with two blind persons. The design process is studied in real time through a team ethnography. The analysis in this paper focuses on the mediating aspects of objects in the actions, perception and cognition in one collaborative design meeting in particular. In general, disability situations can teach us something about fixed ways of doing by making perceivable, or questioning practices that seem self-evident. In this particular situation, the blind person’s involvement in a design meeting that relies heavily on representational artifacts, makes perceivable or questions everyday practices in architects’ design process that are taken for granted. Examples include knowing and indicating to others where design elements are on the site, knowing what design element is being talked about, holding the element and its environment ‘in place’, or spatially exploring the design’s spatial configuration. As such, our study shows that exploring inclusivity ‘upstream’, i.e. in the design process, may contribute not only to inclusive design, but also to a more articulate understanding of the working of mediating objects and their use in architects’ design processes tout court.
keywords architectural design, blindness, disability, participant observation, users
series CAAD Futures
full text file.pdf (4,866,310 bytes)
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