Towards more inclusive engagements: Mapping the experiential realities of inclusivity in architectural education

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2022-7-28
Demirel , Abdullah Eren
With the growing multi-layered and diverse structure of contemporary societies, the notion of inclusivity has become more influential and critical in shaping many fields, including the design of human environments. Based on the conceptual ground of equity, diversity and accessibility, the emphasis is on equal opportunity for diverse individuals to achieve their full potential in life. The complexity and plurality of related concepts and parameters in the studies of inclusivity - built environment relationship shows that the reality of the notion is a social construct; it is not inherent but fabricated through human interactions occurring in their social and physical environments. Architectural space is an agent defining interactions and the experiential dimension of inclusion. It is argued in the thesis that architectural education is an emergent field of discussion for inclusive design philosophy in this respect, as it is the first step for architects to develop their professional and social constructs and values. Accordingly, the thesis aims firstly to critically evaluate and map the interrelated conceptual framework of inclusivity to bring out its spatial and experiential dimension concerning the concepts of equity, human rights, accessibility, diversity and participation. Secondly, the study presents the contextualization of inclusivity in the current discourse of architectural education to evaluate conceptual approaches to develop awareness of students about inclusive design philosophy. The educational milieu is examined based on how the notion is integrated into objectives of different courses in architectural education and how students' learning outcomes are shaped concerning the conceptual framework to unfold the potential of new engagements for designing more inclusive experiences for all. The findings from disclosing sample courses show that through more engagements in education, students can conceptually and methodologically develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to design more inclusive environments by focusing on the experiential dimension of inclusivity.

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Citation Formats
A. E. Demirel, “Towards more inclusive engagements: Mapping the experiential realities of inclusivity in architectural education,” M.Arch. - Master of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, 2022.