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What We’re Reading: “Making Disability Modern: Design Histories” (2020)

Edited by Bess Williamson and Elizabeth Guffey, “Making Disability Modern: Design Histories” is a collection of the cultural histories of disability-related objects and designs. This book provides invaluable insight into the connection between disability studies and design.

The reader is presented with a series of critical perspectives, meanings, and definitions of disability that grant an overview of how disability has inspired modern design. Simultaneously, the book shines light on the social model of disability, which asserts that societal structures are what disable people who have impairments, not the impairments themselves.

The authors of this book do not position disability outside modernism; instead, the reader is encouraged to rethink modernism in relation to design and how aspects of the built environment emerge through the overlap of design and disability.

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