Accessible Knowledge - Knowledge on Accessibility

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Although serious efforts are made internationally and nationally, it is a slow process to make our physical environment
accessible. In the actual design process, architects play a major role. But what kinds of knowledge, including research-based knowledge,
do practicing architects make use of when designing accessible environments? The answer to the question is crucially important since it
affects how knowledge is distributed and how accessibility can be ensured. In order to get first-hand knowledge about the design
process and the sources from which they gain knowledge, 11 qualitative interviews were conducted with architects with experience of
designing for accessibility. The analysis draws on two theoretical distinctions. The first is research-based knowledge versus knowledge
used by architects. The second is context-independent knowledge versus context-dependent knowledge. The practitioners found their
primary support in context-dependent knowledge, whereas context-independent knowledge was criticized as being too prescriptive.
Further, they tended to ask for assistance from the researcher in person rather than reading research publications. The findings
challenge research in two ways—first, to produce context-dependent knowledge to structure the first step of the design process, second,
to develop new ways to ensure a knowledge flow between research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Civil Engineering and Architecture
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)534-546
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Accessible Knowledge - Knowledge on Accessibility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this