The Rise of Deaf Architecture

The Rise of Deaf Architecture

Deaf people use space differently.

In the spring of 2005, a workshop took place on the Gallaudet University campus in Northeast Washington, the Washington Post reports.

A collection of teachers, students and administrators gathered with architect and designer Hansel Bauman to provide input on a new campus building, the Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC), which would house the school’s audiology booths, its lab for visual language and visual learning, a center focused on speech and hearing, and the linguistics department.

Over two days, they discussed ideas for their new building, and a new architectural philosophy was born: DeafSPace. Its goal is to create buildings and public areas that affirm the experience and culture of the deaf and hard-of-hearing — for instance, by ensuring that spaces are conducive to signed conversations.

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