Category Archives: disability studies

senseAbility – Mediale Praktiken des Sehens und Hörens (#BookReview, german)

Wer Hören und Sehen als zwangsläufig natürlich gegebene Fähigkeiten interpretiert, geht unweigerlich auch davon aus, dass als „unnatürlich“ gilt, wer nichts hört oder sieht. Was aber, wenn wir beides als Praktiken begreifen, die sich eher als Effekte technologisch bedingter Handlungszusammenhänge ergeben? … Continue reading

Posted in accessible, alternative communication, augmentative communication, blind, cyborg, deaf, disability studies, Health, implants, Literature, senses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Changing Worlds – Ideologies, Utopias and Ambitions in Science and Technology

The latest issue of the Graduate Journal of Social Sciences (GJSS) has a strong focus on Science and Technology Studies (STS) topics. Its title “Changing Worlds” alludes to multiple meanings as not only are we changing the world – or worlds –, but they … Continue reading

Posted in accessible, activism, alternative communication, augmentative communication, deaf-blind, design project, design research, design study, disability studies, Diversity, Enhancement, Literature, STS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disability Representation and the political Dimension of Art.

Tobin Siebers (University of Michigan) and Tom Bieling (Berlin University of the Arts) thoroughly explore the interconnections between disability, theory, aesthetics, artistic practice, as well as its political dimensions. The discussed elements help in setting the framework to a number … Continue reading

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Katherine Runswick ‘Approaching Disabilty’

Posted in disability studies, Literature, movie | Leave a comment

Sign-to-Text (Deafness-inspired Interaction at Design Research Lab Berlin)

“Sign-to-Text” is an application for tracking fingeralphabet for SMS-use on Mobile Phones. It results from the Project “Speechless” at the DESIGN RESERACH LAB of the University of the Arts in collaboration with T-Labs Berlin. . The project explores challenges and possibilites … Continue reading

Posted in accessible, alternative communication, care, deaf, design research, disability studies, Film, interaction, movie, research, universal design, visual communication | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Call My Attention (Deafness-inspired Interaction at Design Research Lab Berlin)

“Call My Attention” is an application for immediate Line-of-Sight Signaling on Mobile Phones. The application proposes a mobile device function to be used like a remote control, for achieving immediate attention. It results from the Project “Speechless” at the DESIGN … Continue reading

Posted in accessible, alternative communication, augmentative communication, care, co-design, deaf, design project, design research, disability studies, Film, interaction, movie, research, universal design, visual communication | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Self Labelling and Identity (Video)

As continuing part of David Reville’s foresaid course “Mad People’s History,” this one is about “mad people’s” self definitions , -understandings and -descriptions. “We call mad people lots of names. Most of them are not meant to be complimentary. But … Continue reading

Posted in disability studies, Film, research

Mad People’s History (Video)

In his online course at Ryerson University,  David Reville, an instructor with the School of Disability Studies, explains how the history of madness differs from the history of psychiatry, and highlights the importance of including the diverse perspectives of people … Continue reading

Posted in disability studies, research

museum of disABILITIES

A nice collection on disability representation in media, as well as related topics linked to disability and medicine, society, education and advocacy we find at the museum of disABILITIES [Foto: museum of disability]

Posted in disability studies

Tod Browning’s FREAKS

[Film Poster, MetroGoldwynMayer, 1932] In this fantastic movie, that has been named a “humane-tenderley horrorfilm” (KSTA), the physically deformed “freaks” are inherently trusting and honorable people, while the real monsters are two of the “normal” members of the circus.  Classic, … Continue reading

Posted in disability studies, Film, movie

Conference Report: PRESENT DIFFERENCE – The Cultural Production of Disability (Manchester)

Just got back from „Present Difference – The Cultural Production of Disability“, a Conference at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), that brought together academics, writers, artists, performers, broadcasters, film-makers and one design-researcher (;-)) to explore the cultural production of disability.   A … Continue reading

Posted in Conference, disability studies | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Portrait of a disabled Man – Schönwiese’s Documentary awarded!

[“Bildnis eines behinderten Mannes”*, Maler unbekannt, 16. Jahrhundert; Öl auf Leinwand, 135 x 110 cm; Schloss Ambras, Österreich] Resulting from his research project “Das Bildnis eines behinderten Mannes” (= Portrait of a disabled man), which also included the similar entitled … Continue reading

Posted in disability studies, Literature, movie

Gary L. Albrecht talks in Cologne

Posted in disability studies

Lennard J. Davis on OCD

Disability Studies theorist Lennard Davis presenting about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  Unfortunately the sound quality is a little bit low, but if you turn up your volume, you can learn some interesting thoughts about different disability models (charity modell, medical … Continue reading

Posted in disability studies, movie

Disability as a ‘teacher’ to non-disabled society (Interview with Tanya Titchkosky)

“Since each of us is or is going to become disabled if we live long enough, it is vital that notions of disability stay with us.” — Tanya Titchkosky I just listened to this interview with Tany Titchkowsky*. As Disability … Continue reading

Posted in disability studies, interview | Tagged

Carol Gill on the enlightning influence of disability on non-disabled people

Excerpt of an interview with Carol Gill*: Here is the link to the video! *Carol Gill: Director of Graduate Studies & PhD in Disabilities Center Director, Chicago Center for Disability Research Executive Officer, Society for Disability Studies Office Bio Carol … Continue reading

Posted in disability studies | Tagged

Unvollkommen schön (imperfectly beautifull)

The german newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” published a review on Tobin Siebers’ latest book and on Christian Mürner’s and Udo Sierck’s Book about the “Krüppelzeitung. Here’s the article…

Posted in art, disability studies, Literature, report

Ästhetik der Behinderung: “Psychologie der Hässlichkeit”

We recently found a prior announcement to a lecture course by Prof. Dr. phil., Dipl.-Psych. Dietrich Eggert (Institut für Sonderpädagogik, philosophische Fakultät) at Leibniz University Hannover on the “Psychology of Uglyness”. We haven’t found any further information on content and … Continue reading

Posted in disability aesthetics, disability studies

What is Disability Studies? (and what not!)

Since we are mainly focusing on the correlation, the impact and the relevance of demographic and socio-cultural categories (especially concerning aspects of disability) on form and practice of design (process), as well as its effects on usage and practical use … Continue reading

Posted in Definitions, disability studies, german/deutsch

Deaf StreetLab (13 august)

On thursday, 13th of august, we will do a co-design-workshop with deaf kids at the StreetLab. Together in playfull workshops, we are going to explore the properties of deaf communication. Furthermore we will develop expedient and sensible product- and service … Continue reading

Posted in alternative communication, co-design, deaf, design project, design study, disability studies, reciprocal learning, research, social design, visual communication

Design Apartheid

Tobin Siebers names LeCorbusier’s “Modulor” as an example for a political unconscious architectural theory. Siebers recognizes here a basis of what Rob Imrie (also known as the co-author of the book: “Inclusive Design: Designing and Developing Accessible Environments“) calls the … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, disability aesthetics, disability studies

Book: Disability/Postmodernity

…well, we do not want to promise too many book reviews…, but anyway: we are looking forward to take a closer look on this one: Disability/Postmodernity Embodying Disability Theory Edited by Mairin Corker and Tom Shakespeare

Posted in disability studies, Literature, research

Disability Aesthetics

In Tobin Siebers’ Paper we mentioned earlier (see also the description of our colloquium’s talk in the dates section) , he gives an introductory definition of Disability Aesthetics: “What I am calling disability aesthetics names a critical concept that seeks … Continue reading

Posted in art, Definitions, disability aesthetics, disability studies, research

disability and virtual reality

As Tom Shakespeare (PEALS, University of Newcastle, UK) mentioned in his talk at Vienna University (9 may 2008), the www offers various opportunities for social integration to bodily or mentlly impaired people. The communication through the internet offers chances of … Continue reading

Posted in design project, design study, disability studies, research, virtual reality

Redefining what the body can be

[picture: cover of I.D. magazine]   In her recent TED talk, record-breaking Aimee Mullins (paralympic games 1996), who is also known as an actress and model, talks not only about how her high-tech legs are giving her super-powers, but takes … Continue reading

Posted in disability studies, people, prosthetics, reciprocal learning, research

Tank Wheelchair

Thanx to my colleague Fabian i can shut down my computer with a smile now. He just sent me the following pic:

Posted in disability studies

Disability Culture

(Picture from Bruce Conner’s video for Devo’s “Mongoloid”) ———————————————————————- “Yes, the doctor told me, boy, you don’t need no pills. Just a handful of nickels, the juke box will cure your ills.” Carl Perkins, disabled rockabilly pioneer ———————————————————————- As in … Continue reading

Posted in art, blind, deaf, disability studies, music, pop culture

Book: Foucault and the Government of Disability

Shelley Lynn Tremain: Foucault and the Government of Disability (Corporealities: Discourses of Disability) (University of Michigan Press) This one looks pretty interesting to us. We hopefully will prepare a short review on it, soon!

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Book: Disability Theory (Corporealities: Discourses of Disability)

Tobin Siebers: Disability Theory (Corporealities: Discourses of Disability) (University of Michigan Press, 2008) “blurb”:  Intelligent, provocative, and challenging, Disability Theory revolutionizes the terrain of theory by providing indisputable evidence of the value and utility that a disability studies perspective can … Continue reading

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Book: Zerbrochene Schönheit – Essays über Kunst, Ästhetik und Behinderung (German)

Tobin Siebers Zerbrochene Schönheit: Essays über Kunst, Ästhetik und Behinderung (Transcript Verlag, 2009) Klappentext: Je mehr wir in der Moderne ankommen, umso stärker wirkt die Gleichung zwischen Kunst und Behinderung – bis Kunst kaum mehr ohne den Schatten der Behinderung … Continue reading

Posted in disability studies, german/deutsch, Literature | Leave a comment

Book: Körper, Kultur und Behinderung (German)

Markus Dederich: Körper, Kultur und Behinderung: Eine Einführung in die Disability Studies (Transcript Verlag, 2007) Klappentext: Dieses Buch ist die erste deutschsprachige Einführung in die Disability Studies aus einer kulturwissenschaftlichen Perspektive. Es beleuchtet Prozesse der Hervorbringung, Repräsentation und Transformation außerordentlicher … Continue reading

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Book: Disability Studies, Kultursoziologie und Soziologie der Behinderung (German)

Anne Waldschmidt & Werner Schneider (Hrsg.) Disability Studies, Kultursoziologie und Soziologie der Behinderung: Erkundungen in einem neuen Forschungsfeld (Transcript Verlag, 2007) Klappentext Erstmalig für den deutschsprachigen Raum findet in dieser interdisziplinären Anthologie eine Begegnung der Kultursoziologie mit der Soziologie der … Continue reading

Posted in disability studies, german/deutsch, Literature, research | Leave a comment

Welcome to DESIGNABILITIES!

… a research blog developed and run at      

Posted in accessible, activism, advertisement, age, alternative communication, architecture, art, augmentative communication, awareness, bioethic, blind, blog, body, body modification, Calendar, Capability Simulation, care, co-design, comedy, Conference, cyborg, cymatics, deaf, deaf-blind, Definitions, demenz, design project, design research, design study, designwissenschaft, disability aesthetics, disability studies, echolocation, education, embodiment, Enhancement, event, exhibition, Experience Disability, fashion, Film, freak, game, gender, german/deutsch, graphic, humor, illiteracy, implants, interaction, interview, jewelery, jobs, Literature, movie, multimodality, music, neuroscience, people, performance, philodhopir, philosophie, photography, playful interaction, Politik, pop culture, posthumanism, prosthetics, prototyping, quote, reciprocal learning, report, research, senses, social design, sound, STS, sustainability and social innovation, synaesthesia, tactile communication, tangible interaction, team, toy, Transhumanity, typo, Uncategorized, universal design, virtual reality, visual communication | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,