Beyond the Standard
Sammanfattning: In order to contribute to equality, we must go beyond the standard. I want to learn from people with disabilities and the spatial border they are faced with, by exploring the responsibility I have been given, through claiming a role that affects our built environments. I have experience with disabilities and handicaps, but these experiences do not automatically make me better in addressing issues concerning other people with disabilities. I am dyslexic and have been through big obstacles, particularly in the educational system, and I have my Aunt, who has an intellectual disability. I am privileged to have these experiences, and with this thesis I have explored them as an interior architect. This is where I start on my way to contribute. This thesis is a critical study of how standards are practiced, examined through housing built for people with intellectual disabilities in Selbu, Norway. In the center of the critique is the institution. Institutionalization and standardization have a long relationship as answers to complex questions. Institutions’ uniformity ultimately belongs to no one. The matter becomes particularly problematic when the environment is supposed to operate someone’s home. Housing for people with intellectual disabilities is often life long and not determined on the intention of the builders. What is obvious to me after reading the standards and exploring the buildings, is that the minimum requirements are always in place, often built as if the minimum was the goal. But a standard also expresses its vision. The vision talks about inclusion and the dangers with mini institutions, but the vision is expressed through soft language and the minimum requirements are expressed through concrete language of measurements. From the process of being a standard to becoming a building the soft language evaporates from the building plans. The standard will never prohibit you to go beyond it!
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