About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1993-2000
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

PROSTHETICS & BUILDINGS: TOWARDS A MORE INCLUSIVE AND EMBODIED APPROACH TO DESIGN PEDAGOGY IN THE GULF

N. Mounajjed

American University of Sharjah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
In the aftermath of the economic crises, a new discourse in the UAE emerged on the reality of architectural production in the region and the need for a more critical discourse on architectural education. Issues of use, sociality, spatiality and sustainability are attracting more attention. The proposed paper will present a case in point where design projects focus on the relationship between body, use and space as key concepts in architectural design.

In Spring 2009, the work of second year architectural design studio (section 3) at the American University of Sharjah focused on the relationship between body and architecture. A series of design assignments encouraged students to work with conceptually complex design methods to nurture their sensibility to use, materiality, space and the necessity of a more inclusive design strategy.

The semester started with a drawing design workshop between architecture students and disabled children – who were being treated for limb replacement. The workshop focused on introducing architecture students to the values of inclusive design and to involve them in a community project that can develop their sensitivity to users with special needs, including those with prosthetics. The students then moved on to conceptualize their own individual prosthetic devices from an architectural perspective. This led to a series of original designed devices including a Reverscope (a device that acts as a third eye), a Child’s Wheel Chair, and a Musical Arm.

In the subsequent design assignments, students explored further the relationship between the body of the user, and the architecture of the city. As part of their design investigation, students mapped and surveyed existing ‘clinical spaces’ in Dubai. A number of students went through a series of clini-maniac studies, by experimenting with material and design methods (e.g. smooth on materials, acrylic, fabric). Many of them were able to explore interesting spatial and tectonic qualities that allow for original programs and medical spaces.

The final project of the semester focused on the design of a “Specialized Urban Medical Unit” in Bur Dubai. In each individual project, the student chose to respond in a critical manner to a specific socio-urban context by focusing on the user as the main generator. Examples of presented projects include: A Life Box, X LAB, Psycho Building, Memory Disorder Clinic, Rejuvenating Center; Orthopedics/prosthetics Clinic; Spine-Therapy unit; Blood Bank; and a Physiotherapy Center for the Disabled.

To conclude, the projects introduced by ARC 202 studio form an attempt towards a more embodied design process in architecture. For a long time, the body has been central to architectural design and education. With the development of material technology as well as tectonic and spatial possibilities introduced by prosthetic industry, more questions seem to emerge. Also the spatial needs required for a more inclusive design strategy and the promise of more user-focused approach suggest inspiring methods for architectural investigations.
@InProceedings{MOUNAJJED2009PRO,
author = {Mounajjed, N.},
title = {PROSTHETICS & BUILDINGS: TOWARDS A MORE INCLUSIVE AND EMBODIED APPROACH TO DESIGN PEDAGOGY IN THE GULF},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {1993-2000}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Mounajjed
TI - PROSTHETICS & BUILDINGS: TOWARDS A MORE INCLUSIVE AND EMBODIED APPROACH TO DESIGN PEDAGOGY IN THE GULF
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 1993
EP - 2000
ER -
N. Mounajjed (2009) PROSTHETICS & BUILDINGS: TOWARDS A MORE INCLUSIVE AND EMBODIED APPROACH TO DESIGN PEDAGOGY IN THE GULF, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 1993-2000.
User:
Pass: