Torontoist EDGE Lab Democratizes Accessible Design

October 7th, 2011 by Jason

EDGE Lab Democratizes Accessible Design

Noah Kenneally, a member of the adaptive design team and student of Jason Nolan, has been helping extensively in this process. After watching an in-class video about the Adaptive Design Association—whose New York storefront was Nolan’s introduction to the cardboard revolution—Kenneally approached his professor with an offer of assistance. With a background as a community artist, Kenneally has been “building stuff out of cardboard for years” and jokes that “cardboard has chased me into academia.” The skill-set has proven useful.

“I got a grant this past summer from the university’s office of the vice-provost for research and innovation to run my own research project, which I decided to run in conjunction with the stuff that I’ve been doing with Jason,” Kenneally explains. The project, which tests models of learning based on hands-on interaction, allows Kenneally to run workshops to test his curriculum theories in addition to passing along design techniques.

“It’s such an important part of what’s going on in adaptive design,” he says of the information-exchange process. “It’s really a collaborative process between the designers and the folks who are building, and the people for whom the objects are being made. They’re really involved in the process, which forces specific people to meet specific needs. So, the learning of those skills becomes a relational, face-to-face thing.”

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