Open today 11—17 Tensta konsthall
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DIS/ORDINARY POSSIBILITIES In conversation with Jos Boys

26.4 2024

This event will also be streamed through Zoom at 14.00—18.00
Link to stream:

What if embodied dis/abilities are explored as possibilities, instead of simply framed as a problem to be solved by universal spatial solutions? Architect, activist and educator Jos Boys and her collaborators, positions disability as a transformative place to design and educate from. For the built environment to become more responsive and inclusive, we must not only acknowledge but also conceptualize differently the relationship between heterogeneous bodies and space as complex and intersectional. Refusing to think of disability as an obvious and straightforward category or as a design problem demanding a particular set of solutions, makes visible under-examined spatial potentials.’ Critically, starting from the many diverse perspectives and experiences of disability and impairment offers dis/ordinary possibilities.

DIS/ORDINARY POSSIBILITIES: In conversation with Jos Boys is an afternoon gathering part of the program for the exhibition Chronos: health, access and intimacy at Tensta konsthall in collaboration with Iaspis and Reconstructions at Kungl. Konsthögskolan. The exhibition asks: What body standards have shaped the society in which we live? And what can we learn from the disability rights struggle that requires access to the city and the built environment? Guided by these questions, artist and the exhibitions curator Olivia Plender and architect Marie-Louise Richards, founder and leader of the experimental research-course and platform Reconstructions at the Royal Institute of Art together with Cecilia Widenheim, Director of Tensta konsthall invites architects, spatial practitioners, artists, and others who are invested in understanding the potentials of beginning with differences, rather than assumptions that we are the same, reimagining spatial practices and the built environment—to gather and be in conversation with architect and activist Jos Boys, co-founder of the pioneering Matrix Feminist Design Co-operative, and also, the co-founder of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project in London. Goldin+Senneby will share the process of ANTI-HANDIKAPP Collection of disabling stones Royal Dramatic Theatre (1918-2023), showing in the exhibition, and make a short presentation about a public artwork in Gothenburg.

Jos Boys explores how everyday social, spatial and material practices come to frame what is ‘normal’ and ‘ordinary.’ As a non-disabled person Jos is particularly interested in how architects and other built environment professionals can act creatively and responsively as designers and policymakers without misrepresenting or marginalizing disabled people. Jos Boys co-founded The DisOrdinary Architecture Project, bringing disabled artists into architectural education and practice to critically and creatively re-think access and inclusion. Originally trained in architecture, Boys was co-founder of Matrix Feminist Design Co-operative in the 1980s and one of the authors of Making Space: Women and the Man-made Environment (Pluto 1984). She has published several books: Doing Disability Differently: An Alternative Handbook on Architecture, Dis/ability and Designing for Everyday Life (Routledge 2014), which grew out of a series of collaborations between disabled artists and architects, through a group she co-founded called Architecture-Inside Out. She was also the editor of Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader (Routledge 2017). She is also co-editor (with Anthony Clarke and John Gardner) of Neurodivergence and Architecture (Elsevier 2022). Jos Boys is currently a Guest Professor at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, an Honorary Associate Professor at the Knowledge Lab UCL, London and works as an independent scholar and consultant.

The DisOrdinary Architecture Project believes that thinking differently about disability (and ability) can open up the design of our built surroundings to new forms of creativity and critique. Instead of treating disabled people as merely a ‘technical’ or ‘legal’ problem for architecture and urban design, we show how starting from disability—from the rich differences that biodiversity and neuro-divergence bring—is a powerful creative force for design. We want to start from difference to challenge assumptions about ‘what is normal’ in the design of our built surroundings. Founded by Zoe Partington and Jos Boys it is a not-for-profit platform that starts from the experiences, expertise and creativity of disabled artists. They work through co-partnering and co-design to bring together artists and built environment specialists on an equal footing. Goldin+Senneby is a Stockholm-based artist-duo working jointly since 2004. Over the years, their practice has focused on inhabiting contemporary abstractions, from virtual worlds to offshore jurisdictions to financial algorithms. Experiences with disease, vulnerability, and caregiving have also shaped their artistic and personal lives; and living with an autoimmune condition has formed their shared subjectivity. Currently they are collaborating with American fiction writer Katie Kitamura on a novel about an autoimmune tree.

Limited number of places.
Registration is required.
The seminar will be held in English.

Warm welcome to Tensta konsthall Friday, 26 April at 13.30—18.00, register below!

Sign up here.
Installationsbild med ANTI-HANDIKAPP, Samling av handikappande stenar, Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern (1908-2023) i förgrunden / Installation shot with ANTI-HANDIKAPP Collection of Disabling Stones, Royal Dramatic Theatre (1908-2023) in the foreground, Goldin+Senneby, 2024. Foto: Jean-Baptiste Béranger