How far can we go? Do architects understand designing for wheelchairs? Exploring Vienna’s new railway station (‘Hauptbahnhof’)

Mobility means self-determination and liberty. Accessibility regulations have become more and more important in today´s architecture. During this Urban Laboratory, this change in architecture is going to be scrutinized and furthermore physically experienced by exploring the recently opened Hauptbahnhof. At the Urban Laboratory not-disabled people and handicapped people can get into contact asking each other: How far can we go?

Do architects understand designing for wheelchairs? Will accessibility design become the new universal paradigm? Do not-disabled people have to give up spatial qualities for handicapped accessibility? Does accessibility design equip us for independency or is it limiting us by ‘protecting’ us?
The aim of the Urban Laboratory is to stimulate provocative questions and proactive thinking about design and spatial experiences of today. As a result experiences are mapped into wheelmap.org.

Duration: 3 hours
Meeting point: Vienna City Hall
Guide: Leonie Spitzer, Architecture Centre Vienna

This Urban Lab will be accessible and barrier free.

Leonie Spitzer is an interior and social designer and artist. She has an education in visual arts and theatre sciences from the Istituto Universitario d´Architettura di Venezia, followed by a postgraduate study in London at Chelsea College of Art and Design. Since 2009 she has been living in and working in Vienna.

Photo Credit: Nick Mangafas