Making Architecture Visible to the Visually Impaired
SessionB2. Perceiving architecture
Date and Time2014-06-16, 16:00 - 16:40
How is architecture experienced? What makes good architecture? These are the key questions for both architectural theorists and practicing architects. Today these questions should be asked in relation to the concept of universal design. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities defines the term universal design as the design of products, environments, programs, and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Universal design has become part of Norwegian architectural policy. However, the definition of universal design sets no criteria for aesthetic design. This paper discusses why aesthetics (in the sense of integrated quality and sensory experience of architecture) could be a missing link that unites architecture and the concept of universal design. The paper concretizes this in the light of fundamental principles on accessibility for the visually impaired.