The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) is delighted to be involved with a new initiative which aims to stimulate a change in the way that built environment professionals are taught and learn about inclusive design.
The Built Environment Professional Education Project (BEPE) was inspired by the success of the Paralympic Games and the inclusive design process used to build the park and venues. The project aims to encourage future architectural and building professionals to recognise differing needs, wants and functions through their education, and to promote a holistic approach to the relationship society has with the built environment.
Chartered Architectural Technologists have a key role in the design and development process and can therefore exert influence in relation to helping to create an accessible and inclusive environment.
The Institute recognises that inclusive design is at the heart of a successful built environment and as the lead body for Architectural Technology it is critical that it forms an essential part of all CIAT’s Accredited Honours and Masters degree level programmes. The Institute has achieved this by ensuring that inclusive design has been embedded in the recently reviewed QAA Subject Benchmark Statement (SBS) for Architectural Technology; the document to which all Accredited Honours and Masters degrees must map.
In addition, the QAA SBS for Architectural Technology directly aligns to CIAT’s educational standards within its Professional Standards Framework – which is prescribed for Chartered Membership – and these along with the Institute’s professional standards have also been amended to make greater reference to inclusive design. This will help to ensure that student, graduate and Chartered Architectural Technologists acquire greater inclusive design knowledge and skills through their academic and professional qualifications.
To further support and endorse this initiative CIAT has adapted the judging criteria for its Awards for practitioners and its students to make more explicit reference to inclusive design. Professor Sam Allwinkle PPBIAT MCIAT, Chair of the CIAT Education Board said: “As designers, we aim for high standards of quality and exclusive buildings for our clients, however we must never lose sight of the users. We must always strive to achieve inclusive design to ensure that we enable all individuals and communities to access and use the spaces and places that we create. We absolutely support the BEPE project without reservation, and we will continue to challenge our profession, other professions, government and clients to achieve the aspirations and ambitions of creating an inclusive built environment.”