Recent Event Wednesday, Oct. 23


The Right to Live in the World: Design or Disability

10:00pm – 11:30pm

Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall, New York, NY 10024


Organized by:
Bard Graduate Center

Elizabeth Guffey will present at the Modern Design History Seminar on Wednesday, October 23, at 6 pm. Her talk is entitled “‘The Right to Live in the World’: Design or Disability.”

Building on the seminal writings of Jacobus ten Borek and his 1966 assertion of “the right to live in the world,” this talk looks at the underdiscussed subject of design, civil rights, and the law. From the construction of ramps to the use of Braille signage, design has played a significant role in implementing the Americans with Disability Act. In the last thirty years, our designed environment has been subtly—but significantly—reshaped by this law. But just how universal are these changes? And how much was the ADA—and its design culture—shaped by a distinctly American understanding of citizenship, independence, and “rights”?