New York Times Article on Disability, by Elizabeth Guffey


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/25/opinion/a-symbol-for-nobody-thats-really-for-everybody.html

We’re excited to read Elizabeth Guffey’s opinion article published in the New York Times yesterday.

 

disability

A Symbol for ‘Nobody’ That’s Really for Everybody

The blue and white wheelchair icon is more than a guide to parking spots and ramps. It allows millions to fully participate in society.

How Hard Is It To Navigate A Rectangle? Harder Than You Think

Neil Ward
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
Drake University

Wayfinding and signage are important pieces of a buildings structure and interior space, especially on college/university campuses. They provide a visual blueprint that informs students, administrators, faculty, and public visitors where they are and attempts to direct them to classrooms, galleries, labs, performance spaces, and offices. When the signage is missing, incomplete, or inconsistent, all who enter the space are left confused and quite possibly frustrated as they wander around. A missing/poor wayfinding system can intensify these feelings when an individual is mobility challenged and unable to use the stairs. Especially when the building in question is rectangular in shape.

This is a particular problem senior level graphic design students encountered during a Research and Application class in the Fall semester of 2016. Using photo ethnography, observational research, and visual anthropology, students learned and observed how and why visitors entered, moved through, and exited the Fine Arts Building (A building that is rectangular in shape). Based on their findings, students designed a wayfinding system for the building that heavily considered those who are mobility challenged.

An individual (we will call her Jane) from the Office of Student Disabilities, who is mobility challenged, volunteered to test the wayfinding systems. During the user test, dialogue ensued between both parties about what was missing, what could be done better, and what to think about for future iterations. Upon debriefing, students passionately discussed their systems and the building as a whole through Jane’s point of view. Experiencing movement through the building with Jane they unanimously decided the current systems are unacceptable for a campus deemed accessible. Furthermore, they were inspired by Jane’s encouragement and the notion of how their wayfinding could continually and positively impact a large audience.

“How hard is it to navigate a rectangle? Harder than you think” will feature project visuals, the unexpected drive to design for social good, and the issue of accessibility to inspire empathy through wayfinding.

 

Small Disruptions

Andrew Shea
Adjunct Faculty
Pratt Institute
Parsons, The New School

Designers are eager to find solutions that are economically inclusive, socially progressive, and environmentally sound. And whether they call it social impact design, designing for social change, socially responsible design, or by another name, it usually implies that design makes some kind of impact. The essence of that “impact” is some kind of behavior change.

In my presentation, I will talk about what it means for designers to make an impact, since the influence of design remains difficult to trace and measure.

My presentation will feature research from behavioral psychology, creative placemaking, wayfinding, and user experience that, along with two case studies, will illustrate an evidence-based design approach that can lead to positive behavioral change.

Colloquium 1.3: Call for Submissions

Deadline: November 26, 2014

The  2014 winter colloquium will be held at Parsons, The New School. We invite all Communication Design researchers to submit abstracts for consideration by our panel of peers.

For more details, see the Submission Process description.
Event Date: Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The New School University Center
65 5th Ave, Academic entrance (corner of 13th St)
New York, New York
Room 617

3PM – 5PM

Please RSVP if you plan on attending.