The UPC and the Barcelona City Council present a book on a new form of architectural design for accessible environments


Detail of the project "Access for everyone in the city of Paris", by Marta Bordas.

On 11 December, Laia Ortiz, deputy mayor for Social Rights of the Barcelona City Council, and Ramon Carbonell, president of the UPC's Board of Trustees, presented the book 4 Wheelchair-User Architects (4WUA) in Space 4 of the Palau de la Virreina in Barcelona. The book was written by four graduates of the Vallès School of Architecture (ETSAV) who aim to improve people's quality of life by transforming the built environment.

Dec 13, 2017

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and the Municipal Institute for People with Disabilities of the Barcelona City Council have published the book '4 Wheelchair-User Architects (4WUA)' on a new type of architecture designed by people with disabilities. The book deals with the possibility of improving people's quality of life by transforming the built environment. It was written by the graduates of the UPC's Vallès School of Architecture (ETSAV) Marta Bordas, Sergio García, Carlos Vidal and Natalia Pérez, and was edited by Pérez with the collaboration of Professor Miguel Usandizaga.

The presentation of the book, on 11 December, included a dialogue between the authors on how to design architecture from a wheelchair. The discussion was moderated by Professor Marta Serra of the ETSAV.

The four authors have spinal cord injuries and use wheelchairs. They describe situations—both architectural and others—that people who use wheelchairs have to deal with every day. They show how initially inaccessible cities with a great cultural and landscape heritage can be fully integrated and accessible, illustrating a starting point that should be used in all architectural design. The book, published by Iniciativa Digital Politécnica and Gustavo Gili, emerged from a bachelor's thesis based on the authors’ own capabilities and interests that they submitted to the UPC's ETSAV.

LOCUS, the start of the 4WUA project
This book germinated from an intensive Erasmus programme promoted and financed by the European Union under the name Let's Open Cities for Us (LOCUS). For three consecutive years (2008-2010), this programme was organised through the ETSAV and the UPC's Accessibility Chair, under the leadership of the doctoral student Marta Bordas and Professor Miguel Usandizaga.