THE ARCHITECTURE OF DISABILITY talk with AIA NY and David Gissen

David Gissen will join AIA New York for a discussion of his new book, THE ARCHITECTURE OF DISABILITY, at the Center for Architecture on Thursday, February 23.
When Feb 23, 2023
from 09:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Where Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Pl. New York, NY 10012 United States
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A radical critique of architecture that places disability at the heart of the built environment

David Gissen will join AIA New York for a discussion of his new book, The Architecture of Disability: Buildings, Cities, and Landscapes beyond Access, at the Center for Architecture on Thursday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m. (Eastern), in conversation with Ignacio G. Galán. Please register for the (free) event here.

By recontextualizing the history of architecture through the discourse of disability, this book presents a unique challenge to current modes of architectural practice, theory, and education. Envisioning an architectural design that fully integrates disabled persons into its production, it advocates for looking beyond traditional notions of accessibility and shows how certain incapacities can help to positively reimagine the roots of architecture.

This book is an urgent and exhilarating manifesto that calls for nothing less than a complete rethinking of architecture. Rather than insisting that architectural forms need to be adjusted to accommodate a greater diversity of impairments, it uses diversities of physical, mental, social, and collective capacities to unlock new ways to conceive of architecture, model it, design it, describe it, represent it, theorize it, and write histories about it. The fictional singular, athletic, male, young, healthy, undamaged, untraumatized, white body at the center of normative architectural discourse finally gives way to a permanently complex philosophical and political agency reshaping the way buildings are thought. —Beatriz Colomina, author of X-Ray Architecture



The Architecture of Disability takes a historically rich, theoretically informed route beyond disability access as a functional problem in architecture (and one often poorly resolved). Reading familiar sites such as the Parthenon alongside lesser-known landscapes of walking, rolling, and embodied presence, David Gissen centers disabled perspectives—including his own—to reveal new theoretical avenues to and poetic journeys through the built world. —Bess Williamson, author of Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design