Northern Ireland news

New Belfast exhibition reflects disabled people's experiences of built environment

Deirdre McKenna, exhibition curator, Johanna Leech, from the Strand Arts Centre, and Anna Egner, a University of Atypical Trustee, pictured at the Accessing Architecture exhibition in Belfast city centre

A NEW exhibition which reflects disabled people's experiences of the built environment has opened in Belfast.

Accessing Architecture, which is on show at the University of Atypical for Arts and Disability Gallery on Royal Avenue in the city, reflects on contemporary attitudes and artistic interpretations to access and inclusion in urban design and architecture.

The work, which has been created by deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists, is the culmination of a two-year project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project delivered a series of creative workshops, lectures, research opportunities, disability awareness training, a film archive collaboration with Northern Ireland Screen and a partner project with the Strand Arts Centre.

A documentary film on the project will be released in January.

Sean Fitzsimons, Chairperson of the University of Atypical, said the project and exhibition address "an important aspect of disabled people's experience of the built environment".

"The project gave an important voice to disabled people who faced barriers to access within the built environment in Belfast and beyond," he said.

Deirdre McKenna, exhibition coordinator, said the project allowed people to explore the built environment through a range of different perspectives.

"Being able to access a building or move through the streets is every person's right," she said.

"Each of the artists responded to the project in different ways filtering their experiences through their creative process and unique perspective."

Accessing Architecture runs until Friday January 27, 2022 at the University of Atypical Gallery at 109-113 Royal Avenue, Belfast. Further information is available at

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