Spatial Inclusive Context

The spatial inclusive context is our main and unique contribution to the reconceptualization and expansion of the Inclusive Excellence (IE) Framework (Williams et al. 2005). Through the spatial inclusive context, we consider the studio as a physical, pedagogic, and cultural space. As we universally teach our students about inclusive spatial design, about equality, diversity, and accessibility for the use of spaces (CABE 2008; Brownell 2018), we must apply the same rigorous design imperatives for the learning and teaching spaces that we create, and consider the role of design in access to learning spaces (ACSAReleases Statement Addressing Racial Injustice, 2020). 

We identified twelve inclusive practices listed in Table 7.

Inclusive Practices within the Spatial Inclusive Context for a Radically Inclusive Studio:

Spatial Inclusive Context: Twelve Inclusive Practices

Auto-ethnographic conversations by authors during Covid, and architectural education online:

The Start of a Conversation About ‘Maintaining Social Presence in Online Spaces/Maintaining a Sense of Community’.  
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The Start of a Conversation About ‘Negotiating the boundaries between learning settings’
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The Start of a Conversation About ‘Ensure tactility and community engagement’.
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The Start of a Conversation About ‘Consider different media’.
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The Start of a Conversation About ‘Communicate wayfinding and navigation of learning settings’.
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The Start of a Conversation About ‘Employ flexible learning’’
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Reflections from graduate student researchers:

Madina Masimova (she/her)


Architecture, Interiors, and Lighting



Graduate student at the Parsons School of Design

Masters of Interior Design and Lighting

The New School, New York, New York

Madina’s reflection on the spatially inclusive context:

In our era, incorporating and accounting for diverse modes of learning provides students from all over the world more opportunities to be engaged in education. When the pandemic started I was studying abroad at the University of the Arts London. For me, a person from a small country, it was a great opportunity to contribute to my education and long awaited dream to study abroad. However, I needed to return sooner than I planned. The pandemic has led me to a novel perception of space introducing a deeper understanding of extended realities. I have connected with Digital Maker Collective to meet and create in virtual space. These events inspired me to dedicate my final undergraduate project to Covid-19 and Spatial Modifications. The pandemic showed me that alternative ways of learning are providing more accessibility for students. Thus, the combination in this context of onground and online, synchronous and asynchronous, formal and informal learning is beneficial for development.

Madina’s Recommendations:

I support the diverse modes of learning this context is bringing. Giving education opportunities for students with underrepresented backgrounds, creating opportunities to study virtually, making education accessible for students who can not leave their countries by financial or family means is my suggestion.

Madina’s questions:

What are the benefits of combining multiple modes of learning?

How can onground and online learning support your education further?

Ashima’s reflection on the spatial inclusive context:

It expands on the Inclusive Excellence Framework to include physical, pedagogic, and cultural spaces, as well as time. highlighting the importance of considering multiple modes of learning, including online and on-ground, to create a sense of community and belonging. Also mentions the need to consider power dynamics in physical spaces and how to preserve the critical aspects of the architectural design studio in a virtual environment.

It has been an opportunity to expand the exchange of materials, including culturally diverse philosophies and perspectives, providing the exciting potential to extend our conversation beyond the closed boundaries of our home institutions.

Ashima recommendations on inclusive practices within the spatial inclusive context:

I support the promotion of prior learning experiences, as they stem from cultural backgrounds and offer a multitude of perspectives. For instance, last semester we were tasked with constructing our own measuring instruments based on our personal understanding of measurements, which encouraged the integration of our daily life rituals and reflection of our individual working methods.

Ashima’s questions to the University of Cape Town design students within the spatial inclusive context:

What is your perspective on the future of education that incorporates both in-person and virtual methods, and how will it address the creative space that has traditionally been a crucial component of design processes and has been successfully provided by virtual methods ( cultural context, circumstances, and individual experiences)?

How did these learning settings inform the change away from former practices, which have often been isolating or oppressive?

In what ways did the pandemic impact the definitions of personal success and productivity, and how did daily circumstances shape new interpretations of these concepts?

I am curious to know some rituals that you started practicing during the pandemic that you continue to follow now

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