The Phenomenon of Inclusion and Exclusion in Public Spaces through the Prism of Mental Representations of Space By Persons with Various Sensory Deficits and Preferences
Impairment, disability, handicap of the senses constitute variables which distinguish people from one another, as do dominant sensorial modalities. All of these variables are treated in the project as socially vital characteristics, creating not only barriers, but also possibilities which are affected by real experiences – being in a space, ways of mapping space, spatial mobility, a sense of socio-spatial inclusion and/or exclusion. Among the objectives of this research project is identification of alternative ways by which material space is interpreted.
On this stage of research, I would like to present my method [eg. sketched maps; sensory walks documented in photos and video] and ways of collecting data as well as methods of verification of collected material. Furthermore, in the framework of the presentation I will discuss the working concepts of the sensorially mixed society and sensorially varied mobility. Linked to this will be the identification, followed by the comparative analysis of the contents of mental maps produced by the research subjects. It is hypothesized that the contents of mental maps disclose certain related characteristics: unique perceptions and utilization of space; factors which hamper the navigation and usage of public spaces; and factors which facilitate negotiation of these spaces. Examining precisely the ways that space is comprehended, I am seeking out limitations and potentialities as well as the causes and symptoms of social inclusion and exclusion.