How can DeafSpace create inclusive spaces for all?
12 Feb 2024
How can DeafSpace create inclusive spaces for all?

As the push for inclusive design gains momentum, principles like DeafSpace have the potential to transform how we think about public spaces. Who were our existing spaces created for – and who do they exclude? And how can brands and designers begin to address the divide in accessibility?

Richard Dougherty

Richard Dougherty is an architect for Gallaudet University in Washington DC and a director for Richard Lyndon Design, a multi-disciplinary collective that focuses on working with Deaf/Disabled artists and architects on projects across Europe and America. Prior to that, he was an associate architect for an internationally renowned, award-winning practice where he accumulated over 17 years of experience working on public and private sector projects. As well as being project architect for several highly crafted award-winning projects, Richard was the recipient of the ‘Project Architect of the Year’ award at the 2019 RSUA Awards ceremony for his work on the Transport Hub in Belfast. Richard was appointed a design associate at the Design Council to bring a specific range of expertise to their design support work. He actively participates in research practices and recently presented a paper based on DeafSpace at the European Society for Mental Health and Deafness Congress in Wales.

Chris Laing

Chris Laing is an architectural designer and activist for spatial justice and inclusive design in the built environment. Chris has been with architecture firm Haworth Tompkins since 2017. He completed his Part II at the RCA, where his 2021 thesis was nominated for the Spatial Justice Award, and is on the path to becoming a qualified architect. An advocate for DeafSpace – a suite of design principles based on openness and visibility – Chris is also the co-founder (with Adolfs Kristapsons) of Signstrokes, an online resource addressing BSL’s lack of signage for specialist architecture terminology. He is the founder of Deaf Architecture Front (DAF), which launched at RIBA in June 2023.

Kristin Ramsey

Kristin Ramsey is a Helsinki-based writer, editor, and communications consultant for tech, design, and consumer brands. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she holds a master’s degree in publishing from Simon Fraser University and continues to explore her own deaf identity as a hard-of-hearing woman.