Forced Switch


We are on the periphery of a self-feeding cycle of ableism that makes the able-bodied person the required mode of being. But what is an abled body? It is a term we will all, at some point of our lives, understand. Over time, our ability of ableness will deteriorate as we grow older. A fully able state is only temporary – if at all. As our bodies change, so does our ability to participate. Urban space is designed focusing almost exclusively on the sense of sight. It is cluttered with elements, such as electronic screens and text that seek your attention. These elements exclude people with visual but also other sensorial impairments. I am one of those people and you might be as well. We have to comply by applying bodily-extensions and/or modifications. These changes fulfill our desire to participate in this public sphere that feeds on the constructed narrative of ableism and binary oppositions. Thus, we comply - consciously and unconsciously - by filling in our shortcomings and exist outside the standard. We see our reality through a medical lens that is an analogizing machine added to the body. This perspective turns disability into an individual’s own problem and begs an interrogation beyond disability. Revealing the normalized embodied contours of individuality itself and depicts our desire as a wound of reality. Day-in, day-out, everyone faces the fully-abled space and complies to its rules. Forced Switch intersects linear transition spaces, such as a hallway. It is an apparatus that makes use of air vortexes in order to change the sensory detection from sight to tactility. Transition spaces are often not acknowledged as distinct spaces by visitors, who are focused on their destination. However, Forced Switch acknowledges your presence and attempts to give the space a temporary identity through the created interaction. The skin is our largest organ and is often neglected in the design of urban spaces. This project aims to reawaken the skin of the inattentive passer-by and direct the visitor towards a different hierarchy of the senses.

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