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Augmenting Access & Mobility: Designing for the Prosthetic Human

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posted on 15.11.2021, 11:33 by Struijck, Darni

With the needs of the disabled person at the forefront of research and design, this thesis questions how the ‘Prosthetic Human’ can be an architectural catalyst to augment access and mobility. Access and Mobility is identified as an underdeveloped field of architectural enquiry. To improve how disabled individuals experience space, this thesis investigates and tests access and mobility through the lens of design. This thesis extends to the notion of access and networks as defined by Jeremy Rifkin through an architectural exploration into innovation centres. Workplace design strategies directs the design process to formulate stimulating environments that facilitate creative and reflective thought. The theoretical frameworks of Marquard Smith and Joanne Mora, Elizabeth Wright and Mark Wigley, concerning post-human conditions are critically discussed and theoretical notions are transposed into design investigations that explore the building as a prosthetic entity. Specifically, this thesis introduces the disabled body – The Prosthetic Human – as a new figurative referent and proportional system in the design of architecture. Corbusian principles and methods are examined and appropriated for the Prosthetic Human. The proportions of the Prosthetic Human informs the architecture at macro, messo, and micro scales. This research finds that by designing for the Prosthetic Human, the architecture is, holistically representative of a body that requires enhanced access and mobility within space. The research is purposeful; the process celebrates difference and in turn, a calm and embracing architecture is presented in hope for those impaired to be free from spatial discrimination in our environment.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

University Library

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Moller, Chris; Twose, Simon