Title page for ETD etd-4220121649751351

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Orens, David M.
URN etd-4220121649751351
Title an end to the other in landscape architecture: poststructural theory and universal design
Degree Master of Arts
Department Landscape Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Clements, Terry L.
Green, William R.
Bork, Dean R. Committee Chair
  • design theory
  • cultural theory
  • accessibility
  • disability
  • segregation
  • deconstruction
Date of Defense 1997-04-30
Availability unrestricted
Accessibility in the landscape has gained

increased attention in recent years, and the

practice of Universal Design, rather than

providing accessible accommodations as

separate, distinct elements within the

landscape, attempts to address social issues

such as segregation by proposing an

integrated accessibility and design for a

diverse society. However, while proposing

integration, it can be criticized as designing

to the lowest common denominator and

clinging to the idea of a disabled population

which must be designed down to. It

frequently fails to address the complexities

arising from conflicts between the needs of

individuals with different disabilities and

lacks a theoretical framework which would

place the philosophy's ideals within a

broader social and cultural context. The

poststructural project is posited as such a

theoretical framework, and a means for

evaluating the principles of Universal Design

along with the social and cultural beliefs

upon which the accessibility issue rests.

Poststructuralism is used to challenge the

idea of separate abledisabled populations

on the basis that this dichotomous

opposition is based on limiting conceptions

of disability and fails to acknowledge the

complexities which comprise the diverse

fabric of society. The project is explored

here as an alternative means for advancing

the ideals of Universal Design within the

realm of landscape architecture. Using a

matrix of poststructural practices, social

concepts such as normality and disability are

examined and deconstructed. Ultimately a

reconstruction of the paradigm, a Critically

Integrated Design, is proposed based upon

the reconceptualization and resituation of

accessibility and social conditions.

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