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2022 Programme Curatorial Events Digital Archive Talk

Watch back New Now Next with Jos Boys and Richard Dougherty


Two pioneering UK architects discuss Disability, Space, Architecture in our New Now Next 10th anniversary series.


Groundbreaking UK architects, activists, and educators Jos Boys and Richard Dougherty delivered a provocative and practical talk on Disability, Space, Architecture on 1 June 2022 in the second instalment of our New Now Next 10th anniversary series.

In this double bill, Jos Boys and Richard Dougherty explored how disability can be a creative generator rather than a ‘problem’ for design, and how it critically challenges conventional forms of architectural education and practice.

Jos Boys discussed her work with The DisOrdinary Architecture Project, which she co-founded with disabled artist Zoe Partington in 2008. DisOrdinary Architecture is a platform that encourages innovation among disabled artists relating to access and inclusion in the design of our built surroundings.

Richard Dougherty reflected on his experience as a deaf member of the architecture and design profession and highlighted several examples of ‘deaf gain’ – where design led by and for the deaf community also brings about wider societal benefits.

IAF Director Nathalie Weadick said: “Together, Jos Boys and Richard Dougherty are pioneering disability-led design by tapping into the capabilities of people who are disabled, as creators of their environment and not just users. Both Boys and Dougherty have the potential to radically change ways of working in the architecture sector that will help to create a better built environment that is accessible to all. Their talk is bound to challenge and stimulate discussion and give the audience a lot to think about.” 




Jos Boys, who trained in architecture and has worked as a journalist, researcher and academic, is currently Director of the Learning Environments Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre (LEEDIC) at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, UK and Programme Lead for the MSc Learning Environments. She is also a co-founder of the influential 1980s feminist architecture practice and research group Matrix Design Co-operative, which was the subject of a recent major exhibition at the Barbican, London.

Richard Dougherty is a Design Council UK Expert, Interim Chair for Action Deaf Youth and Director of Richard Lyndon Design. Previously, as an associate at Hall McKnight Architects in Belfast, he led on the design and master-planning work for Gallaudet – a university in the United States for people who are deaf.


New Now Next talks are produced by the Irish Architecture Foundation and are free to attend and watch online thanks to the continuous support of Arup. Find out about other talks in the New Now Next 10th anniversary series.

Photo: Richard Dougherty and Jos Boys, courtesy of Richard Dougherty and Jos Boys.