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.

A digital illustration of many small diverse groups of people playing, cycling and communicating.

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.

Thea from Edinburgh architecture practice Chambers McMillan talks with Abigail from New Practice about the theme of Accessibility in engagement.

Visual Response

A paper cut out piece of art depicting a large pair of turquoise hands holding a number of different abstract shapes and bodies. Some bodies are relaxing, some breast feeding, some with amputated limbs. These hands sit on a black background with a small ladder leading up to the bottom right corner of the right hand and a small colourful road leading up from the bottom left to the corner of the left hand.© Greer Pester

  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.  

- Greer Pester 

Over the course of five videos Ginny Cooper, Graham Lamont and Peter Anderson from Homeless Network Scotland talk with Abigail Blunt, New Practice around the theme of accessibility in face to face engagement.

Projects Referenced

  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?  

- Doing Disability Differently - Jos Boys 

About Potluck

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.