Within the disciplines of Interior Architecture and Design, visual depiction of spaces is a powerful tool to communicate use, users and qualities of the designed/proposed spaces. With a mixture of techniques we can produce images capable of plunging viewers directly into these imagined spaces. Such visualisations, so provocative and seductive, are carefully designed to communicate the atmosphere that the designer is aiming to create, but if they fail to include a fair representation of the people those spaces are designed for, they misrepresent the aim of the project. This distinct lack of diversity and inclusivity within visuals is indicative of both a lack of consideration of the existence of people who are not the same as the designers themselves and an equally problematic lack of understanding of the needs of these populations. As educators, we aim to foster a global spatial‐narrative dimension for interiors, which allows a wider social, political and economic context to emerge.
This project is a collaboration between academics from Lincoln’s School of Psychology, the Interiors programmes at University of Lincoln and Interior Architecture at Middlesex University, and the Academic Writing and Language team at Middlesex. We have developed a series of targeted and inter-disciplinary workshops to ensure that designers and educators are equipped with the knowledge they need to deliver presentations and discuss unconscious bias in representation as well as other relevant considerations when engaging in inclusive design. These workshops have promoted a discussion across education and industry of the impact that visualization has on the representation of future spaces and whom these spaces are addressed and designed for: a discourse about social sustainability of spatial design. We intend our workshops to help establish EDI as an integral part of the design process and enable participants to apply their own critically reflective knowledge and understanding of these principles to the development of their design.
Francesca Murialdo BA. MSc (Hons). PhD. SFHEA Murialdo is Programme Leader for Interior Architecture at MU in London. She’s an architect and a PhD in Interior Architecture and Exhibition Design and she has practiced and taught Interiors from 1998 at the School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, before moving to Middlesex University in 2015. Francesca has been invited to teach and lecture in institutions in Europe and Worldwide, she founded and directed two practices, Studiometrico and Labomint, and her work has been widely published. She has a track record of published research. She is co-director of Interior Educators and Director for Research at European Interior Educators. Peter Thomas, BA. MA (Hons).
Rosie Elvin, BA (Hons). BA (Hons). BArch. FHEA. Elvin is a design practitioner and Senior Lecturer at UoL. She has worked in architecture, interior design and the travel retail business, practicing in the UK and Ireland and currently runs a design practice with her husband. She has been at the UoL’s School of Design since 2006 where she leads level 3. Elvin was appointed trustee within Interior Educators in 2018 and is an External Examiner for Coventry University and Northampton University in the UK. Elvin is interested in the relationships between design practice, teaching and research.
Kirsten McKenzie, BA. MSc (Hons). PhD. PGCHE. FHEA McKenzie is a cognitive neuroscientist and Senior Lecturer at UoL, with a research specialism in the diverse ways in which bodies are represented; from a neurological standpoint right through to the effects of visual depictions of the body. She is also interested in how equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) can be encouraged in practical terms and has extensive experience with EDI in different contexts, as well as across a number of Universities in the UK, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Peter is a Senior Lecturer at MU with research interests in writing as part of creative practice, particularly the generative roles that writing can play in art and design. He is a writing developer in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, working with students and staff on various forms and uses of writing, from conventional academic genres to experimental textual practices. Peter is currently doing a mixed-mode PhD on The Essay and The Essayistic in Art Practice. He has published on academic literacies, regenring, writing and collaboration in art and design in higher education.