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Societies 2016, 6(1), 6; doi:10.3390/soc6010006

Taken for Granted: Material Relations Between Disability and Codes/Guidelines

1
Department of Interior Design, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4000, Australia
2
Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, T6G 2N1, Canada
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Madine VanderPlaat
Received: 1 January 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2016 / Published: 23 February 2016
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Abstract

This paper provides a critical examination of the taken for granted nature of the codes/guidelines used towards the creation of designed spaces, their social relations with designers, and their agency in designing for people with disabilities. We conducted case studies at three national museums in Canada where we began by questioning societal representations of disability within and through material culture through the potential of actor-network theory where non-human actors have considerable agency. Specifically, our exploration looks into how representations of disability for designing, are interpreted through mediums such as codes, standards and guidelines. We accomplish this through: deep analyses of the museums’ built environments (outdoors and indoors); interviewed curators, architects and designers involved in the creation of the spaces/displays; completed dialoguing while in motion interviews with people who have disabilities within the spaces; and analyzed available documents relating to the creation of the museums. Through analyses of our rich data set involving the mapping of codes/guidelines in their “representation” of disability and their contributions in “fixing” disability, this paper takes an alternative approach to designing for/with disability by aiming to question societal representations of disability within and through material culture. View Full-Text
Keywords: actor-network theory; agency; architectural design; critical disability studies; embodied experiences; knowledge production; museums; power relations; representation; spatial relationships actor-network theory; agency; architectural design; critical disability studies; embodied experiences; knowledge production; museums; power relations; representation; spatial relationships
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rieger, J.; Strickfaden, M. Taken for Granted: Material Relations Between Disability and Codes/Guidelines. Societies 2016, 6, 6.

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