IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: Doing dis/ability differently in architectural and built environment practices

11 June 2020, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm

Building floor plan. Image: JESHOOTS.com via Pexels

In this webinar, Dr Jos Boys discusses whose bodies matter in current architectural discourses and practices, and how starting from dis/ability challenges design norms.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Andrea Gauthier

Disability studies, disability arts and disability activism have long been critiquing assumptions about what kinds of bodyminds matter - who gets valued and who gets marginalised, in order to challenge and remake conventional access and inclusion practices. 

Rather than being a mere technical problem for architecture, thinking and 'doing' dis/ability differently turns out be a creative generator for design. It is also a powerful critique of what is assumed 'normal', a vital means for troubling everyday design assumptions about space and its occupancy, and an enabling mechanism towards new collective and emergent forms of social, spatial and material equity.

As part of the UCL Knowledge Lab seminar series, this talk is about how bodies come to be articulated and treated differentially in the design of built space.

In collaboration with disabled artists from The DisOrdinary Architecture Project, Jos is exploring ways to critically and creatively rethink how we ‘do’ disability within architecture and design, as well as within society more widely. 

The DisOrdinary Architecture Project refuses the simplistic solutions of technical design guidance and regulation as mere add-ons to ‘normal’ design, instead starting from difference and non-normativity. 

Since 2008 the project has been co-developing educational and practice-based projects to show how valuing our rich bio and neuro-diversity, and designing from our many different ways of being in the world, opens up vital new directions for criticality and creativity.


This seminar is open to all. For more information and to sign up, please email Andrea Gauthier at andrea.gauthier@ucl.ac.uk


Image: JESHOOTS.com via Pexels

About the Speaker

Dr Jos Boys

Course Director for the MSc in Learning Environments at The Bartlett UCL and Co-director of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project

Dr Jos Boys research focuses on creative and inclusive educational spaces both within and beyond the academy. She is author of 'Doing Disability Differently: an alternative handbook on architecture, dis/ability, and designing for everyday life' (Routledge 2014) and editor of 'Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader' (Routledge 2017).

The DisOrdinary Architecture Project mission is to promote activity that develops and captures models of new practice for the built environment, led by the creativity and experiences of disabled and Deaf artists.

Other events in this series