Rethinking Design through Disabled Perspectives

  • Online Event
  • Tuesday, October 24
    12:00pm EDT

HMA2 Architects and The Jewelry Library are excited to host an online presentation with multi-sensory artist, designer, and educator Sugandha Gupta in celebration of World Sight Day/World Blindness Awareness Month. Borrowing from her own experience as a person with low vision, Gupta will discuss how disabled perspectives lend inclusive and generative approaches to design. We will explore best practices for creating accessible spaces, products, and services, gaining a new understanding of access and design that serves broader audiences in multiple ways.

Gupta will share examples of creating access that can be designed thoughtfully to remove access barriers, while also being sensorially stimulating. Creative audio descriptions for example can offer both a descriptive account of an image or performance that makes it accessible to low vision and blind people, and can also be poetic and expressive, offering all audiences more focussed points for contemplation. We will learn how disabled designers, artists, and professionals use their disabled experience to generate creative work, crafting ingenious ways of navigating inaccessible spaces, products, and services.

This presentation is geared towards students, designers, artists, educators, and content creators who will learn different ways in which they can engage, collaborate, and create greater access and inclusion in society. The presentation aims to break down myths around accessibility and widen the perspective on how offering content in accessible formats is also a medium of exploration and creation. 

Gupta is the Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Social Justice at Parsons School of Design. She creates multi-sensory textiles that engage audiences through their senses. Her research interests are at the intersections of social, environmental, and disability justice. Gupta also advocates for disabilities at museums, conferences, and universities. She is an established artist and designer with over fifteen years of experience. Her work has been showcased at the American Crafts Council Show, Smithsonian Craft Show, Hunterdon Art Museum, NYTM, The United Nations Headquarters, and The Met. She has won prestigious awards such as Dorothy Waxman Textile Prize, CFDA Design Graduate, and International Design Award.

Photos by Iwonka Piotrowska.