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Architecture Beyond Sight

in Stories of Independence

The Bartlett School of Architecture, in collaboration with the DisOrdinary Architecture project in the UK, had a Low Vision lead this year.  Tasmania’s own Duncan Meerding was invited to tutor in the Architecture Beyond Sight course.

Man in his stuio contemplating
Hobart artist Duncan Meerding in his wood working studio. Picture: Fiona Harding

This course designed to think outside the box, to encourage artists with low vision to be involved with creating spaces to design innovative alternatives to conventional access solutions.

It explores the idea that vision impaired people can become architects and designers.

Known for his beautiful unique lamps, and furniture designs Duncan through his mentorship encourages other artists to get into the design and architecture space.

“I went to London in July to be a guest teaching fellow with UCL (University College of London) at The Bartlett School of Architecture as one of the guest tutors for a course called Architecture Beyond Sight. It was a pilot for further bridging courses which will teach blind and vision impaired people skills in architecture and design to increase participation and retention of VIP’s (Vision Impaired People) in those fields”.

“The course didn’t just ‘pop up’. It has been ten years in the making. There are a lot of creative minds out there, and utilise the skills of these people is good for architecture and design. Brings together people who are more diverse to the concept and interaction between senses”. “I went to London in July to be a guest teaching fellow with UCL (University College of London) at The Bartlett School of Architecture. As one of the guest tutors for a course called Architecture Beyond Sight. It was a pilot for further bridging courses which will teach blind and vision impaired people skills in architecture and design to increase participation and retention of VIP’s (Vision Impaired People) in those fields”.

Duncan Meerding

A huge success, students Fae Kilburn and Clarke Reynolds have gained more confidence to pursue their creative fields though Duncan’s experience.

Hopefully other University’s around the world will follow the Bartlett School of Architecture’s lead and offer similar courses at their campuses.

Apart from tutoring over in London earlier this year he has just returned from presenting at the Sydney Design Festival.

Image of a man showing a woman how to put a wooden box together
Duncan shows one of his students how to create a box. Picture James Green

VisAbility is shaping a better world for people with disabilities. We want them to have the same level of freedom and control over their day-to-day life as others and offer a variety of services available under the NDIS