On October 28, as part of Consciuos City Festival 2021, the CONSCIOUS WARSAW The Person-Space Continuum: Diversity & inclusion in a city meeting was held. Our representative was Marta Wierusz, who spoke about universal design in the context of neurodiversity.
Stereotypes, inequalities and social hierarchies have been built into many designs. As a consequence many users can’t fully enjoy their usability. Too often we don’t consider citizens’ expectations and capabilities, forgetting that inclusive city design which addresses needs of ‘many’ is a key unlocking social capital. Can a city be fair to all its inhabitants? Is it that we as a society treat some city residents as less human than others? Can we afford not to hear some groups or maybe on the contrary we can’t afford to hear all of them? How to manage diversity and inclusion so it’s a blessing and not a curse? We debated on possible answers to these questions. We discussed the advantages of diverse and inclusive spaces, exploring a variety of factors such as age, gender, mental and physical abilities, next to socio-cultural and economical ones. We talked about drivers and barriers to inclusion with the aim to contribute towards a happier and conscious city.
Marta Wierusz – an architect and interior designer. Since 2018, has been running an interior design team in the APA Wojciechowski Architekci office. Creates both commercial and public interior designs, and specializes in universal design, with goal of expansion and promotion of knowledge in the field of designing accessible spaces, as well as in the subject of inclusivity and sustainability. Focuses on design of everyday objects intended for seniors and design of space and objects for people with neurological disorders. Together with the team of Apa Wojciechowski Architekci, she created a project to modernize a preschool facility for children in the autism spectrum for Sotis. Mother of two sons, one of them is an atypical child.