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The Project

What we need to question is bricks, concrete, glass, our table manners, our utensils, our tools, the way we spend our time, our rhythms, to question that which seems to have ceased forever to astonish us.
We live, true, we breathe, true, we walk, we open doors, we go down staircases, we sit at a table in order to eat, we lie down on a bed in order to sleep, how? where? when? why?
Georges Perec, 1973

The ‘Wandering In Familiar Spaces’ website has been created as part of my masters project at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow. The roots for this project stemmed from my dissertation titled ‘The Architecture of Madness’, in which I explored the relationship between architecture and its affect on the human psyche. I asked the question ‘can architecture cure mental illness?’ although the question posed was radical it sought to realise the connection between space and the psyche, and the ability of the architect to manipulate them, with either positive or negative effects.

This led me to reassess my personal understanding of disability and its place in developing inclusive environments. I began to recognise the current ‘social model’ of disability; addressing environments that are debilitating rather than the people that use them.

In order to understand the components of an inclusive environment I wanted to explore aspects of my everyday spaces with a fresh view of how someone with cognitive and sensory impairments might experience them. I was interested to examine these particular impairments, as many previous concepts of inclusive design seemed exclusively focused on physical attributes, even though the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act defines disability as a ‘physical or mental impairment’, therefore I wanted to challenge these previous assumptions and investigate the affects of mental impairments.

This brought me to question: If the designer could attempt to perceive spaces from that of someone with such impairments, would it enhance their ability to achieve inclusive environments?

I hope you find the contents of this website useful, any comments/contributions you may wish to provide are greatly appreciated, just visit and post a comment, or alternatively email me on