Projects: Accessing Architecture 

An image of four wheelchair users looking out over an interior vista within Titanic Belfast

An image of four wheelchair users looking out over an interior vista within Titanic Belfast

 

ACCESSING ARCHITECTURE

University of Atypical is excited to launch a new project, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, entitled Accessing Architecture: Disability and Belfast’s Built Heritage.

Over nine months, this programme will research the history of the disabled community in Belfast through the city’s built, industrial and cultural environments; primarily the Cathedral, Gaeltacht, Queens and Titanic Quarters.

Four artists will be commissioned to work with groups representing the spectrum of ‘the disabled experience’ – physical, cognitive, blind, and d/Deaf – to creatively examine the built heritage of the city and how, through this, we can interpret societal and environmental assumptions, traditions, values and attitudes towards the disabled community.

Through artist- and participant-led interventions, the project will also reflect on contemporary attitudes towards access and inclusion in urban planning, design and architecture, this project will also contribute to a growing movement that aims to create a more integrated and exciting city for the future.

University of Atypical will host a series of workshops and public talks, the outcomes from which will culminate in an exhibition that explores the relationship between accessible design and disabled participation. We will invite policy-makers, community representatives, planners, architects and academic researchers to view the work and to take part in the associated events.

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The call for disabled artists is now closed, but you can still register to be involved as a participant or as a volunteer. More information below:

 

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

  • Are you a disabled adult aged 18+?
  • Are you interested in exploring Belfast and learning more about the history of the city’s disabled community?

This project will offer participants the opportunity to express their experiences, stories, and generate research which will form part of a public exhibition. Disability history in general is a widely under-researched and under-analysed area. We feel that there is a need to address this imbalance, but also to delve deeper into the relationship between architecture and disability, to really examine what our built heritage can tell us about past attitudes towards disability, and how the disabled community contributed to and were accepted into the cultural and industrial fabric of the city.

This project will last for 9 months. Following training in Disability Equality, selected artists will begin working with individuals and groups from March – May 2020 through workshops. A number of trips and publicly accessible talks will take place during  June and July 2020, with an exhibition of participants’ work at Atypical Gallery running from late July to late August. Access and interpretation requirements (e.g. Braille, BSL) will be met throughout the project.

 

HOW TO EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST

You can apply either as an individual or as part of a group. 48 places are available. We encourage prospective participants to apply early, as places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please complete the Google Form, which you can find HERE, by 5pm on Friday 28 February 2020.

Our intention is to simplify the registration process, but if Google Forms are inaccessible for you, please get in touch with us: jane@universityofatypical.org or telephone: 028 9023 9450

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CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

  • We are particularly keen to hear from volunteers with an interest or experience in architecture, design and accessibility
  • Volunteers will have the opportunity to gain new skills and experience in group facilitation and support
  • Volunteers will also receive Disability Equality Training from University of Atypical and an introduction to planning and development in each of the four city centre areas from former staff of PLACE, Northern Ireland’s built environment centre, as well as research trips to PRONI and NI Screen
  • Aside from training and site visits, volunteer commitments will be approximately 4 hours per week over 10 weeks (March – May). The overall project will last for 9 months. Following training in Disability Equality, selected artists will begin working with individuals and groups from March – May 2020 through workshops. A number of trips and publicly accessible talks will take place during June and July 2020, with an exhibition of participants’ work at Atypical Gallery running from July to late August. Access and interpretation requirements (e.g. Braille, BSL) will be met throughout the project.
  • Given the nature of the project, volunteers with experience of disability would be particularly encouraged to apply

 

HOW TO EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST

If you are interested in volunteering on this project, please complete the Google Form, which you can find HERE, by 5pm on Friday 28 February 2020.

Our intention is to simplify the registration process, but if Google Forms are inaccessible for you, please get in touch with us: jane@universityofatypical.org or telephone: 028 9023 9450

The Google Form will prompt you to outline (in bullet points, or no more than 100 words) any experience you have of disability, architecture, design and accessibility and why this opportunity would enhance your skills or experience.

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We are grateful for the support of our funders, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, for their support of this project.