The Bartlett Real Estate Institute


BGCLE explores inclusive architectural education

4 July 2019

A new project will explore what changes are needed in education to enable more disabled people to become architects

inclusive architectural education

Dr Jos Boys, senior lecturer in environments for learning, and the Bartlett Global Centre for Learning Environments (BGCLE) – part of the Bartlett Real Estate Institute – are collaborating with The DisOrdinary Architecture Project on an important initiative in inclusive architectural education.

The work has been commissioned by Prof Alan Penn, outgoing Dean of UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment, to explore how curricula, modes of delivery and spaces have to change to enable more disabled people to become architects and related built environment professionals.

The aim is to start by testing the design of a Foundation course for blind and partially sighted people that challenges the predominantly visual nature of architectural education. Instead it asks how we can map and design from all our senses, and from the richness of our bio and neuro-diversity rather than assumed bodily norms.

The course is being designed and led by blind and partially sighted architects, makers, artists and writers. The pilot will run as an intensive residential week from July 22-26 and has 16 students from around the world attending.

Dr Boys said they were particularly pleased to welcome guest tutors Chris Downey, a blind architect from the US, and Duncan Meeding, a visually impaired furniture maker from Tasmania. They will give a public talk entitled ‘Architecture Beyond Sight’ about their work on Tuesday, July 23 at 22 Gordon St, London WC1H 0QB. Tickets are available from EventBrite.

Dr Boys co-founded The DisOrdinary Architecture Project in 2008. It brings together disabled artists with built environment practitioners, educators, students and others to explore how valuing different ways of being in the world can offer innovative alternatives to conventional access solutions.