Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Identity Redefined

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Version 1 2023-07-23, 11:00
posted on 2023-08-30, 03:22 authored by Berriman, Varna

One in four people in New Zealand has a long term impairment (Statistics New Zealand, 2014). Impairments are not selective to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, region, health or partnership. They do not share a common religion, political belief or social class. Despite this, the architecture of New Zealand continues to marginalise people with impairments through a medicalised model of segregation and control that highlights the user’s medical diagnosis before their humanity. This thesis looks at how marginalisation towards people with impairments presents itself in the built world beyond the current standardised building regulations of accessibility. It develops design strategies that diverge from the current medicalised and overprotective architecture to empower people to redefine the oppressive fixed identification of disability and instead give users the freedom to define their multifaceted identities on their own terms, within their own framework.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

CC BY-SA 4.0

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

209999 Other health not elsewhere classified

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


McIntosh, Jacqueline