Existential place-making : the dialogical realms of design for dwelling with disability

Shah, Rinkle, Franz, Jill M., & Kumarasuriyar, Anoma C. (2012) Existential place-making : the dialogical realms of design for dwelling with disability. In Awwad-Rafferty, Rula & Manzo, Lynne C. (Eds.) Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) Annual Conference Seattle 2012 (43rd) : Emergent Placemaking, Environmental Design Research Association, Seattle, WA, pp. 1-14.

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The world of disability is often neglected or taken for granted in able-bodied society. Apart from the challenge that disability is a social construct (Linton, 1998, 2006; Longmore, 2003; Thompson, 1997) there is an impact on the people with disability that they either feel left out or they don’t belong in the larger community. The able-bodied community is also left with very little knowledge or no sensitivity towards people with disability. These internal whirlpools do not contribute to any community only to create larger gaps and higher differences between the groups of people.

Peace (2010) claims that disability is something imposed on to a person on top of a physical impairment. Nord (2008) advocates that while environmental barriers and social attitudes are crucial aspects of a person’s experience, they can indeed disable a person.

The study reported high-lights what is home for people with disability and their family members. The way the person with disability and family members without disability share the same home and nurture personal relationships with each other demands greater attention. This research sheds light on the intricate relationships that exists between the family members including person with disability and their built environment. These existential connections provide a holistic viewpoint and the glimpse into the lived experiences of homes for people with disability and their care-givers.

Concepts of universal design or barrier free design have not been successful (Connell and Sanford, 1999) in revealing in-depth the nature of place-making for people with disability and their care-givers. Such studies fail to incorporate the holistic needs of individuals with disability and their family members in terms of their bodily, visceral, emotional, social, psycho-social, intuitive, spiritual and temporal needs, to name a few (Franz, Bitner, 2010). This paper reports on some preliminary findings on phenomena of dwelling for people with different kinds of disability and their care-givers sharing the same home from an interior design perspective.

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ID Code: 57535
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Place-making, Disability, Design, Home
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2012, The Author
Deposited On: 06 Mar 2013 22:33
Last Modified: 22 May 2013 07:09

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