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HAAVC-3000-6: Universal Design and the Body

Spring 2022

Subject: History of Art and Visual Culture
Type: Seminar
Delivery Mode: In-Person
Level: Undergraduate

Campus: San Francisco
Course Dates: January 18, 2022 — May 08, 2022
Meetings: Thu 4:00-07:00PM, San Francisco - Main Building - E4
Instructor: Katherine Lambert

Units: 3.0
Enrolled: 14/16


Universal Design is an aspirational outgrowth of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it touches upon all areas of design as a holistic approach to inclusivity and diversity. But, the post ADA world is what inspires our young designers and holds the key to change within and for our bodies. We are now witnessing quantum leaps in 21st c. technological and biological developments which hold the promise of advancements for embodied spatial experiences in our built environments. For years now these developments have held implicit challenges to architecture, interior environments, designed objects and social justice.Implicit dialogues(interchanges) amongst buildings, public / private spaces and their users insist on the realization that these symbiotic relationships are constantly restructuring our physical and cognitive abilities and our cultural understandings. The concept of Universal Design is forging the very definition of how our bodies will be framed and rendered within built environments. This practice has been an agent of change and promises the embodiment of human potentiality - in all its dimensions. From the evolutionary genesis of the Disability Rights movement in Berkeley CA in the 1960s, to the present, futuristic models imagined by Silicon Valley and MIT, our bodies undergo looping retrofits within the shifting frames of space and time.Now we are moving well beyond our conception of the body, it’s abilities and adaptive qualities and finally, our environments hold the potential to adapt to our bodies in ways that were inconceivable even 30 years ago. Up until recently, the environment was conceived of as static and the body as an active agent working against each other at the interface of ability. Now, we have adaptive environments and shifting boundaries that hold the promise to liberate the old paradigms surrounding physical embodiment. This compilation of edited articles from renowned academic writers, scientists and scholars in addition to wildly futuristic and inspired projects will shift the paradigm of our understanding. Through student research, prescient articles and designed exercises, throughout this course we will help define the interactive qualities of this new world as we co-creating our future selves.

Pre-Requisites and Co-Requisites:

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