the quality of being able to be reached or entered.
the quality of being easy to obtain or use.
the quality of being easily understood or appreciated.
When we are talking about creating accessible designs, workshops, and conversations we are talking about what it takes for people to be able to feel empowered and independent enough within the structure we have created to exist, feel
comfortable and engage without experiencing barriers.
Accessibility for me is a feeling, a feeling of being held in a safe and accessible - (both mentally and physical space). A feeling of openness and shelter simultaneously, It lends itself to the sensation of being able to enter and leave, communicate freely and respectfuly amongst others of all walks of life and human needs. This paper cut collage piece pictures a small community group being held in giant palms expressing that sensation of safety, open, colourful self expression and relaxed peace of mind in amongst the cosmos chaos.
Why, then, does the idea of disability being creative and avant-garde seem so absurd? Is it because of taken-for-granted assumptions about disabled people: that they are in need of the help of
others, are passive consumers of services, constitute a minority of individuals in society who (unfortunately) must bear the brunt of their own medical problems? Is it because creativity slips sideways into ‘art therapy’ when undertaken
by disabled people, and into functional and clinical solutions when undertaken by architects?
What if, instead, we see that re-thinking disability enables us to explore critically and creatively assumptions about, and relationships between, disability and ability which, in turn, can offer better ways of understanding
the architectural implication of both bodily diversity and everyday socio-spatial practices?
Over the last few months New Practice have been reflecting on the engagement process, from large public consultation events through to stakeholder interviews. On the back of these reflections, we are looking to reach out to different
organisations that we think practice in an exemplary way to discuss engagement through a series of broader themes, the output of which will be collated into a webspace to be publicly accessed. This is Potluck.